Barely two weeks ago Dictator Jammeh sent his Justice Minister as an emissary to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to resuscitate his dying regime. Amongst many spin lies which Minister Mahoney told the edified council was “There is no detention without trial in the Gambia. Prisoners’ rights are well protected. Furthermore, Gambia supports the 72 hour law of detention and where it exceeds; people go to court and file habeas corpus”. Perhaps, the deluded Gambian Dictators thought the UN Human Rights Council would be convinced by his whitewashed dossier and not travel to the Gambia to separate chaff from the grains of his doggy-dossier.
First, he ran to Jangbureh ducking and diving his backside in the rice field posing as a leader effacing hunger for his people. What many of the muzzled Gambians with him at the rice field did not know, was he swop national duty for a personal one and avoiding the UN veteran investigators for illegal killings and tortures. When he realised his gimmicks did not wade off the investigators patience, he told them that the wailing nation was in observance of the Muslim end of year Eid. Like the determination of a starving person looking at a delicious meal, the investigators waited patiently to accomplish their mission.
The decisive moment finally projected itself when the investigators asked to be led to the security wind of Mile II prison. Hell, broke loose and Dictator Jammeh manifested his monstrous side by refusing the investigators access. They were dismayed by the Jammeh’s government refusal for them to visit a prison which they were informed by the same government it was not only given a facelift but prisons are accorded their full rights. Christof Heyns and Juan Mendez said in a joint press release “ an inference must be drawn that there is something important to hide. This incident forced us to suspended this integral part of the visit”.
The release went on to add, “We would like to recall the duty of the government to take measures to prevent and punish deprivation of life by criminal acts and to prevent arbitrary killing by their own security forces”. The blocking and sabotaging this first ever UN human rights investigators from completing their probe into killings and tortures by the Jammeh regime accentuates what Gambian nonconformists have been advocating for the past twenty years . Heyns, who is UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, concluded, “Our inability to visit sections of a Banjul prison despite written guarantees obtained in advance suggested the government had something to hide”.
On the death sentence, the UN veteran investigators asserted, “According to available evidence, the death sentences were imposed in violation of international fair trial standards, including the most serious crimes provisions”. Readers will recall that in August 2012, Monster Jammeh ordered the unlawful execution of 9 Mile II death row inmates to fulfil his marabou’s directive.
As we go to press, a young Gambian, Sait Matty Jaw, is currently unlawfully detained for more than 72 hour stipulated by law. His whereabouts remains a mystery and his safety highly feared. Mr Jaw is a lecturer at the Gambia University who has no political affiliation whatsoever. He is still neither charged nor released by his captors. It is highly believed that Mr Jaw is undergoing chilling tortures from his captors.