The Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations has written to the Inspector General of police urging him not to grant Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party a permit to protest for return of Yahya Jammeh.
There has been talks in the social media that supporters of Yahya Jammeh, Gambia’s former dictator accused of severe human rights violations, want to protest for his return from Equatorial Guinea where he lived in exile since 2017.
Jammeh faces several charges of torture, killing and rape in Gambia. The Victim Center said allowing the APRC to protest will not be in the interest of peace.
Below is the letter:
January 9, 2020
Inspector General of Police
Gambia Police Force, Police Headquarters
Banjul, The Gambia
Dear Inspector General,
Subject :Objection to the APRC Application for Permit to Protest for the Return of Former President Yahya Jammeh
It has come to our notice that the APRC Party / militants are in the process of applying for a permit to stage a protest. We write to express our concerns and the concerns of victims that the application made by the APRC for a permit to stage protest for the return of Yahya Jammeh to the Gambia planned January 16th, 2020, be put on hold for several reasons, key among them is the interference of the on-going TRRC testimonies and the security of the Country. Therefore, we object to this application for the time being, as it is considered as a provocative moved against victims of Yahya Jammeh and his regime as well as the peace and tranquility of the Country.
It is our position that Yahya Jammeh is a fugitive and that any activity that tend to be in denial of that fact or aimed at provoking victims of his regime must not be entertained.
It is not in the interest of peace and stability in the Gambia to allow a political party that had enabled and in blatant denial of serious human rights violations committed against Gambians and non-Gambians to stage a protest for the return of the very person who had masterminded and committed these violations as evident from the testimonies emerging from the TRRC.
The purpose of the current transitional justice efforts in the Gambia is to deal with repressive legacies of the APRC regime in order to ensure that it never again happen in the Gambia, thus, the application for permission to protest for the return of Yahya Jammeh is a direct sabotage to the ongoing transitional processes.
In the light of the above, we urged your office to consider our position and that of the victims and the on-going TRRC, to take adequate measures to deal with disparaging remarks and threats coming from the APRC leadership against witnesses that have testified before the TRRC.
We look forward to your usual cooperation.
Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations
CC: MOJ, MOI, OP, TRRC, NHRC
CC: EU Delegation, UNDP TJ, US Embassy, BHC, ECOWAS, Senegalese Embassy
CC: IHRDA, ACHPR