By: Christian Conteh
The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) has eight (8) more days to receive ‘Plea for Amnesty’ from names mentioned in the TRRC report. This is in line with Section 19, subsection 1 of the TRRC Act which makes provision for individuals who made full and remorseful disclosure before the commission to be granted amnesty if the commission thinks they are deserving of it.
Starting from December 24, the date the TRCC report was made public the people named had 14 days to apply for the amnesty.
“In line with Section 19(1) of the TRRC Act any adversely mentioned individual who has previously appeared before the Commission and made a full disclosure of his or her involvement in human rights violations and abuses and has expressed remorse is hereby granted a period of 14 days to apply to the Commission for amnesty,” a statement from the office of Gambia’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice read.
Applications it notes will be reviewed over a six-week period, after which a report would be sent to the president. In line with the TRRC Act where the Commission refuses an application for amnesty, it shall give reasons for its refusal in writing to the applicant and any other person who in relation to the offence is a victim.
However, it is important to note that amnesty shall not apply to crimes against humanity.
“In line with Section 19(3) amnesty shall not apply to acts which form part of a crime against humanity,” the statement established.
The TRCC report which comes after over three years of consultations and hearings, clearly pointed out that former President Yahya Jammeh is criminally liable for Murder, extra-judicial killings, attacks on the press and opposition and sexual offences among others. The commission recommends Jammeh be prosecuted alongside his accomplices.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dawda A. Jallow strongly maintained that the applicants will be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
A white paper establishing the government’s position on the TRRC recommendations and speaking to the way forward is expected to be made public on or before May 25, 2022.
Meanwhile, Dawda A. Jallow has informed the public that government will set up a successor institution that will be managing victims’ compensation. It will include setting up a victim’s fund and a body to manage the funds. He further reiterated the government’s commitment to implementing the recommendations of this report.