Forgive & Forget: Victims Say It’s Difficult To Move Without Justice


By Amadou Manjang

The victims of human rights violation under the regime of former president Yahya Jammeh said that without justice it will be difficult for them to move on with life. They don’t just want to forgive and forget but they want “justice” to happen.

The program officer of Gambia Centre for Victims of Human Right Violations, Ayeshah Jammeh said that reparation cannot bring back their loved ones that have been killed.

Mrs. Jammeh’s dad Haruna Jammeh and her aunt Masireh Jammeh were allegedly killed by the security forces under the command of the former president.

 “For me justice means to prosecute the people who bear the highest responsibility,” she said.

She said that those who are saying the victims should forgive and forget don’t know what the victims and their families are feeling.

“I wish you really feel the pain we feel with our families. You will see how important justice means to us.

“It’s difficult for us to move on,” she said while shedding tears.

She said that if The Gambia wants the never again slogan to be realized then it needs to prosecute the human rights violators.

“This for me is rule of law and without it there will be no rule of law”, she said.

The Country coordinator of ANEKED, Sirra Ndow said that even if the victims forgive the state has the responsibility to prosecute the perpetrators, adding that getting justice is just another step for the victims.

Sirra who is also a victim of human rights violations said that “it is never over for the victims. It will never be over for the victims.”

She said that the prosecution of the perpetrators is a political demand which they have to make and the people that should handle the process should be credible.

“Accountability is non-negotiable, accountability is inevitable,” she added. 

Ndow made this statement in international conference where legal practitioners meet to discuss the best legal mechanism to prosecute the perpetrators human rights violations in the Gambia. The national and international legal practitioners call for hybrid court system to surpass the limitations of the national laws to able to prosecute the perpetrators and render justice to the victims.

Sirra added that both national and international actors should make sure that justice is not something for debate, and the victims should not be onlookers in the process.

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