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Government Rejects Recommendation Of Amnesty For Sanna Sabally

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Sanna Sabally, former Junta Vice Chair

The Gambia Government has rejected the recommendation of TRRC to grant the former Vice Chair of the Junta, Sanna Sabally an amnesty.

Government said, although Sanna might have made full disclosure as well as  showed remorse, he is one of the individuals who bears  the highest responsibility for ‘gross human rights abuses and violations’ under the Jammeh; especially his role in the November 11th, 1994 incident.

“The Government rejects the recommendation of the Commission as pertains to Sanna Sabally and notes that although he might have made full disclosure and showed remorse, Sanna is one of the individuals that bears the highest responsibility for gross human rights abuses and violations in the early days of the Jammeh regime, particularly the extrajudicial killing of many soldiers on November 11th, 1994,” the White Paper read.

Prior to the release of the Gov’t White Paper, the Commission recommended the granting of Amnesty to Sanna  Sabally on the basis that he served time in prison for ‘false’ crimes levied against him and made full disclosure, showed remorse,  initiated and participated in reconciliation with a perpetrator. 

The Commission noted that   Sabally’s crimes preceded the Rome Statute and cannot be applied retroactively; thus, it recommended him for community service.

In January this year, the TRRC made a call for applications for amnesty and received 25 applications from various individuals notably, former Vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy, former Junta Vice Chair, Sanna Bairo Sabally, Edward Singhatey, Alagie Kanyi, Wassa Camara, etc., with each of the twenty-five applications reviewed, determined and submitted for approval.

Of the 25 applications, 11 were dismissed, 8 were denied, 5 were approved and 1 was referred to the Attorney General for finalisation of granting of immunity.

However, in the White Paper, the Government noted that although the TRRC Act gives the Commission the power to make recommendations for Amnesty there is no explicit legal framework for the grant of immunity under our laws; and said through the Ministry of Justice, will therefore work towards drafting legislation which amongst other things will make provision for the granting of Amnesty.

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