16 May 2019

Gambia: TRRC - A Court Giving Verdict or Commission Giving Recommendation?

The principle is not revenge or retribution. The TRRC has exposed gruesome and inhumane actions. However, some of the perpetrators have already started to seek the forgiveness of families and they appear to be winning sympathy from some quarters despite accepting the perpetration of violation of human rights.

Despite the confession, one cannot call them criminals since they have not appeared before any court and be convicted of a crime. Hence those who want to promote justice should not prescribe what should be done to people who appeared before the Commission or have been mentioned in the testimonies, prior to adverse decision and recommendation being made by the Commission.

To say whether somebody should be dismissed from a job or be prosecuted because of testimonies before the Commission is inappropriate. The Commission should be left to complete its work and have its report published and its recommendations considered by the appropriate authority. In the meantime, those who have wrong doings to reveal should be encouraged to do so in good faith without fear of any victimization and those who have confessed wrong doings should be encouraged to visit the families under the supervision of the TRRC to seek forgiveness. The objective of institutions like the TRRC is to heal wounds, facilitate repentance for wrong doing, in order to put the past behind us and prevent recurrence.


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