Gambia: UN Expert On Transitional Justice to Review Progress in Gambia

Geneva — The UN expert will examine the progress made in redressing the legacies of massive past violations and abuses committed during Yahya Jammeh's regime (1994-2017).

During Jammeh's rule, the country was plagued by disregard for the rule of law, infringements of human rights and civil liberties, and the existence of a repressive State apparatus accused of committing gross human rights violations against anyone considered to be critical of or threatening to the regime. Arbitrary detentions, torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions were routine.

The new administration has initiated, with support of the international community, a domestic process aimed at redressing past abuses, including through the creation of a Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission.

"My visit aims to learn about and evaluate the measures taken by the authorities in The Gambia in the areas of truth, justice, reparation, memory and guarantees of non-repetition - the pillars of my mandate - that have been adopted to address the serious human rights violations committed during the past regime," Salvioli said. "During the visit, I will seek to have a broad view of the various initiatives taken, identify good practices, gaps and problems, and formulate recommendations in that regard."

The human rights expert will meet Government officials, representatives of the legislature, members of the judiciary, security forces, the national human rights institution, civil society, victims' groups, academics and representatives of the international community. He is scheduled to visit Banjul as well as other locations in the country.

The expert will present his preliminary findings and recommendations at a press conference to be held on Wednesday 27 November, at 12h00 local time at the UN House, 5 Kofi Annan Street Cape Point, P.O. Box 553, Banjul. Access to the press conference will be limited to journalists.

The final report on the visit will be presented to the Human Rights Council in September 2020.

Mr. Fabian Salvioli (Argentina) was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2018 as the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence. He is a human rights lawyer and professor.

Fabián Salvioli is professor of International Law and Human Rights at the School of Law of the University of La Plata. He has lectured in many countries and universities across the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. Mr. Salvioli has authored several books and articles on international human rights law. He was member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee between 2009 and 2016, and its President between 2015 and 2016.

Mr. Salvioli served twice as member and three times as president of Ad-Hoc Arbitration Courts on Monetary Reparations, within the Friendly Settlement Mechanism of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He received several honorary titles in recognition of his work in the fields of human rights and education

As Special Rapporteur, Mr. Salvioli is part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council's independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures' experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

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