Gambia: Human Rights Groups Hail Verdict Against Yankuba Touray

Following the murder conviction of Yankuba Touray, former top military junta member of the defunct Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC), and Minister of Local Government and Lands; human rights groups across Europe, United States and beyond are currently hailing the verdict as a "strong message of deterrence to Yahya Jameh's impunity and brutality during his 22-year reign of terror".

Draft documents seen by The Point acknowledged that the current Gambian judicial structure... human rights advocates whose tireless campaign against impunity and injustice and a media diligently battling to wipe out all forms of inhumane and barbaric treatment of Gambians is currently on course".

Right bodies also warmly welcomed Justice Jaiteh's judgement as "unprecedented... and something expected of a truly competent dispenser of justice with high quality".

They, however, cautioned that the judgement against Yankuba Touray is "the tip of the iceberg."

Ousman Koro Ceesay was murdered while serving his own country as minister of Finance and Economic Affairs. The remains of his charred and burnt body parts were left unattended.

Following his brutal killing, certain junta members had bragged that "nothing would come out of it."

Human rights campaigners have constantly decried that "arbitrary arrest, torture and killing was predominant on Yahya Jammeh's watch against his own people".

According to the text, denial of victims' right to justice and redress is not only "immoral" but also "dissolute" and that if action is not taken urgently people will be left without effective remedy... and thus impunity will continue to prevail in The Gambia".

Lack of true justice, it says, "merely fuel violence and conflict" because "people with grievances will be left with no option... may try to take the law into their own hands similar to what happened during the trial of the convicted killer".

Right groups also urged the government to continue to "respect human rights obligations which is key to stabilisation and positive development of any nation".

The rights advocates are also "extremely shocked" following revelation by Alagie Kanyi, a co-conspirator and self-confessed killer who vividly disclosed how Koro was brutalised at Yankuba Touray's own residence, thus disrespectfully violating the trust, faith and confidence of the victim.

Consequently, they further demanded that all those involved in the ruthless assassination including: Edward Singhatey, Peter Singhatey, P.K. Jatta, Pa Alieu Gomez, Tumbul Tamba as well as their co-conspirators - whether currently residing inside or outside of the country be apprehended or repatriated and brought to book as soon as possible.

According to the advocates, there "cannot be healing without true justice."

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