The chairman of Gambia Center of Victims for Human Rights Violations (GCVHRV), Sheriff Kijera, has said the center has so far registered over one thousand direct and indirect victims across the country.
“The registered victims are survivors and relative of victims of serious human rights violation including enforced disappearance, extra judicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, sexual based violence and more,” he said.
Mr. Kijera equally said that the center is disappointed with the government of President Adama Barrow in its approach and also its failure towards addressing some of the urgent remedies of victims that are in dire need of both medical and psycho-social support.
He made these remarks on Sunday in a meeting held at the GCVHRV’s main office in Senegambia.
Mr. Kijera explained that the Turkey’s government medical assistance to the victims’ center is a good example of which the government of Adama Barrow woefully failed in keeping up to its responsibility of facilitating the modalities of the process. He added that the bodies of victims were exhumed and families were re-traumatized in the process and the government failed to communicate to victims. “We don’t want selective justice but we want justice and we want it now,” Kijera demanded.
“As victims’ center involves, it has demonstrated that it has immense potential derived from the diversity of its membership to further the needs of the victims and bring about transformation of society by working together with government and other partners to harness the synergies of its members to influence change and bring about desired justice to victims,” he stated.
Kijera added that the center has worked immensely towards the realisation of the organisation’s objectives, saying the centre has registered successes in most of its programme implementation and realised some challenges.
“During the under review, the victim center in collaborations with the AG Chambers and Ministry of Justice, UNDP, UNICEF and Civil Society Organisation embarked on nationwide consultations on the design and establishment of the proposed truth, reconciliation and reparations commission for the Republic of The Gambia.”
He further stated that the Media Legal Defense Initiative (MLDI) awarded three months grand to the Gambia Center of Human Rights Violations to carry out advocacy and campaigning activities on implementation of freedom of expression; judgment of the ECOWAS community court of justice regarding the cases of Ebrima Manneh, Musa Saidykhan and Deyda Hydara. “The project seeks to engage in dialogue and advocacy with government authorities to ensure it fulfill its obligations as an ECOWAS Member State by implementing plans and agreed with victims and family members,” he said.