On the 23rd anniversary of the student massacre, victims speak
The survivors and other members of the Gambia Centre for Victims of the Jammeh Era have, among other things, urged President Adama Barrow to make time for a visit to the Centre as the nation commemorates the 23rd anniversary of the massacre of protesting students in 2000.
The victims stated in a statement that was released on Saturday: The question of why the day is not included in our school or national calendar as a public or school holiday remains as this year marks 7 years since the student massacre and 23 years since the new government took office. Additionally, why is the Public Order and Indemnity Act still included in our statutes? We are extremely dissatisfied with our parliamentarians, particularly our fellow victim assembly members, who do not take their efforts to repeal the two draconian laws seriously. The victims also urged the minister of education to ensure that, by April of next year, all Gambian schools in The Gambia observe the anniversary as one of the most significant days in history. This is because students should be informed about the violation that occurred on these days so that they can honor the victims as heroes and pray for those who have passed away.
The Public Order and Indemnity Acts and other harmful laws should also be repealed by the National Assembly, which the minister of justice should also lobby for. Additionally, we are concerned that the return of Jammeh’s close associates will impede the pursuit of justice. We want to inform the government that some of the survivors are gradually passing away as a result of not receiving adequate medical care. The statement continued, “We therefore call on the government to pay attention to the plight of the survivors and the families of the victims and ensure that the president visits the Victim Centre as soon as possible because they are the reasons he became president.”
The victims also said that the 10th and 11th of April ought to be recognized, just like the 24th of April 1970, when the nation became a republic. Additionally, on April 14, Solo Sandang and his coworkers were detained, tortured, and killed. All of these should be combined and a special day in April designated for prayer and remembering should be established. The victims stated, “The government ought to understand that this is an important day for us.”