By Mafugi Ceesay
The leader of the Victim Centre, Sheriff Kijera, has described the Gambia Armed Forces recent release of Alieu Jeng and Ismaila Jammeh, all former members of the hit squad of the former Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh as ‘unlawful’.
Mr Kejira made this disclosure at a press conference held on Saturday 19th March, 2022 at the Center’s base in Kololi. He promised that his institution will come up with a ‘befitting response’ to the release of the two junglers that were in detention for over six years.
According to Mr Kijera, the Victim’s Centre was only notified by the Army of their intention to release Ismaila Jammeh and Alieu Jeng, but they were not consulted prior.
He further blamed the Ministry of Justice for not doing justice to the victims in respect of the release of these detained jungulers.
Mr Kijera said: “We were only notified by the lawyer from the Gambia Armed Forces(GAF) on Tuesday that the Centre should go to the GAF Centre on Wednesday. The call was very prompt, we don’t even know the agenda of the meeting we went to attend to at the GAF headquarters. Abruptly, we were informed of the Army was going to release the junglers because they had series of consultations with the Ministry of Justice regarding the fate of the two Junglers who were held in their custody, their continued detention is a violation of their rights without putting them before a court of law.”
It could be recalled that six of the hit-squad alias the junglers were released shortly after the fall of the former Gambian dictator, Yahya Jammeh.
Later six of them made a dramatic appearance before the Truth Commission and made confessions to the most gruesome killings they carried out in Jammeh’s reign. After their testimonies, four of them were released on bail by the Ministry of Justice for lack of adequate evidence to presecute the confessed killers at the time.
However, Alieu Jeng and Ismaila Jammeh were not granted bail for what is believed that their failure to honestly confess their crimes, resulting in their continuous detention until recently.