By Adama Tine
Reed Brody, an American human rights lawyer, commonly known as ‘Dictator Hunter’, has said exiled former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh facing trial in the Gambia may cause instability because his supporters are still in denial of the atrocities he committed.
Speaking last Friday during a press conference organised by the Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violation at its office in Senegambia, Brody said it will be better for Jammeh to face trial in another country if Equatorial Guinea is willing to surrender him to be tried.
Mr. Brody, who is currently working with victims of former President Jammeh in the Gambia, said the victims deserve justice for what the former Gambian dictator did to them over two decades. He however described the Ghanaian survivor of the over 50 migrants massacred in the Gambia in 2005, Martin Kyere, as the real ‘Dictator Hunter’ who is making sure the victims secure justice.
Mr. Brody, wearing a ‘T’ shirt with the slogan ‘Jammeh to Justice’, said; “Being a real dictator hunter is to show my support to victims whose family members were brutally tortured, killed, raped, arrested unlawfully and made to disappear.”
He said he is hopeful that the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) will recommend reparations for victims, recommend institutional reforms, as well as for those responsible for crimes during Jammeh’s regime to be brought to justice.
Asked if the recommendations made TRRC fail to be implemented, Brody said civil society activists, the Association of Non-Governmental Organisations and victims will not ignore the recommendations of the TRRC. He added that the TRRC is at their final stage of preparing their recommendations and the government should not wait for six months to issue a white paper.
Brody said the victims want to see the recommendations implemented by the government. He however said the TRRC has not provided evidence linking Yahya Jammeh directly to the murder of Deyda Hydara, massacre of the 59 West African migrants in 2005, his phony AIDS treatment as well as the witch hunt.
“I don’t think it will be a good idea to bring Yahya Jammeh back in the Gambia for trial,” Mr. Brody said; “Everybody I have spoken to in the Gambia; victims, diplomats and experts on the streets all share the same sentiment that bringing him back to the Gambia for trial could cause instability.”
Mr. Brody is a human lawyer who specializes in helping victims pursue abusive leaders who committed atrocities, and has gained fame as the “Dictator Hunter.” He has worked as counsel for the victims in the case of exiled former dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré who was convicted of crimes against humanity in Senegal.
He has also worked with victims of Augusto Pinochet of Chile and Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier of Haiti.