JUSTICE FOR THE GAMBIA APRIL 10/11 2000 VICTIMS & FAMILIES
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On the 10th & 11th April 2000 Gambian students demonstrated for justice for a female student raped by two members of the security forces and for Ebraima Barry a school student killed by members of the Fire Service. The response of the security forces under the dictatorial regime of Yaya Jammeh responded with extreme violence by opening fire on unarmed students. 16 died and many others were injured. An inquest was held and a Commission of Enquiry, however the Jammeh Government passed legislation granting impunity to all responsible, the Enquiry was suppressed and the Judge heading the Inquest sacked. No one has ever been called to account. Gambia now has the chance, with a new democratic Government, to rectify this situation.
The April 10/11 Memorial Foundation has been set up to not only support the victims and their families in their quest for justice, truth and reconciliation, but to also ensure that the rights of the students are not trampled upon ever again; and to ensure that the heinous crimes that led to the massacre and subsequent arrest and detention of students, Red Cross Volunteers and other civilians are never to be repeated in our beloved nation, The Gambia.
To this end, we ask the Minister of Justice of The Gambia to consider the following demands, that have been 17 years in the making:
1. As stakeholders willing to partner with Government to strengthen democracy, promote the rule of law and democracy we ask for a commitment by the Ministry of Justice to investigate the constitutionality of Indemnity Act.
2. We are also making a proposal for the Indemnity Act to be repealed or modified, as it tramples on the ability of citizens to seek redress from state employees and gives blanket amnesty against prosecution to employees of The Republic of The Gambia.
3. We ask that the Justice Department of The Republic of the Gambia investigate other charges that could be brought outside of the Indemnity Act (e.g. denial of medical treatment).
4. We ask that the Government of The Republic of the Gambia explore the viability of changes in law outlawing ALL forms of torture by the Police Force and The Gambia National Army.
5. We implore the Government of the Gambia to carry out a thorough investigation of possible charges against the Firemen who killed Ebraima Barry.
6. We also seek redress for the 13 year old girl child (at the time) who was violated by security forces.
7. We ask that the government of The Republic of The Gambia ensure that the education and training needs of the survivors are guaranteed and scholarships provided to ensure that they are not further disadvantaged in their quest to fulfil their role in society.
8. We ask for the acceptance of government liability and compensation for families of victims and survivors.
9. In order to strengthen our young democracy, we ask for a sincere commitment to new laws guaranteeing students' right to form Independent Student Unions.
10. We make a further proposal for the government of The Republic of The Gambia to pass a parliamentary resolution stripping the former president of the Gambia Yayah A J J Jammeh off his immunity under the Constitution.
11. Cognisant of the fact that events of April 10/11 2000 will forever be etched in the history books of the Gambia, we respectfully ask the Government of The Republic of the Gambia to recognise APRIL 10/11 as a public or school holiday.
12. We will engage with the government of The Republic of The Gambia for a fitting and lasting memorial to be erected as a tribute to the fallen heroes of April 10/11 2000.
13. We stand by our promise that NEVER AGAIN shall the lives of so many be ruined by so few; and our sincere commitment to secure the safety and security of all Gambians especially Gambian students.
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