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German Court Sentences Gambian Death Squad Member to Life in Prison

German Court Sentences Gambian Death Squad Member to Life in Prison

German Court Sentences Gambian Death Squad Member to Life in Prison

CELLE, GERMANY | A Gambian man was sentenced to life in jail by a German court on Thursday for his involvement in a death squad that killed opponents of former ruler Yahya Jammeh, including an AFP journalist.

Due to his employment as a driver for the assassination squad known as the Junglers, Bai Lowe was found guilty of crimes against humanity, murder, and attempted murder.

Lowe, who disputes the accusations made against him, was given a life sentence by the judges at the court in the northern town of Celle at the request of the prosecution.

Federal prosecutors claim that the former president of The Gambia “used the Junglers unit to carry out illegal killing orders, among other things” in an effort to “intimidate the Gambian population and suppress the opposition.”

The list of suspected offences includes the December 16, 2004, shooting death of AFP correspondent Deyda Hydara in his car on the outskirts of Banjul, the capital of the Gambia.

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It was discovered that Lowe had driven one of the killers in his own automobile and assisted in stopping Hydara’s car.

Human Rights Watch claims that the trial, which got underway last year, is “the first to tackle human rights violations committed in The Gambia during the Jammeh era on the basis of universal jurisdiction.”

Regardless of the location of the crimes, the legal principle permits a foreign nation to pursue crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide.

Hydara spent more than three decades as an AFP correspondent in addition to serving as editor and co-founder of the independent daily The Point.

In addition, the father of four served as a correspondent for Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in the Gambia, where he was regarded as a media titan in the small West African nation.

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He published a highly read column in The Point titled “Good morning, Mr. President,” in which he discussed Gambian politics.

RSF investigations reveal that shortly before Hydara passed away, Gambian intelligence agencies were spying on him.

Prosecutors charge Lowe with involvement not just in the murder of Hydara but also in the attempted murder of attorney Ousman Sillah and the death of Dawda Nyassi, the president’s alleged rival.

Lowe arrived in Europe via Senegal in December 2012, saying he was seeking asylum as a political refugee who feared for his life under Jammeh.

He was detained on the charges in Germany in March 2021.

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According to investigators, one piece of evidence against Lowe is a phone conversation he did in 2013 with a Gambian radio station in the US, during which he admitted to taking part in the attacks.

But Lowe said in a statement read out to the court that he had only reiterated what other persons had informed him regarding the case’s details in order to highlight Jammeh’s government’s brutality.

For 22 years, Jammeh ruled the Gambia with an iron grip, but he left the nation in January 2017 when relative unknown Adama Barrow won the presidency.

Despite his refusal to accept the outcome, a public rebellion drove him from the country, and he fled to Equatorial Guinea.

According to investigators, one piece of evidence against Lowe is a phone conversation he did in 2013 with a Gambian radio station in the US, during which he admitted to taking part in the attacks.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

But Lowe said in a statement read out to the court that he had only reiterated what other persons had informed him regarding the case’s details in order to highlight Jammeh’s government’s brutality.

For 22 years, Jammeh ruled the Gambia with an iron grip, but he left the nation in January 2017 when relative unknown Adama Barrow won the presidency.

Despite his refusal to accept the outcome, a public rebellion drove him from the country, and he fled to Equatorial Guinea.

For feedback and comments, please contact ZiMetro News on WhatsApp: +27 82 836 5828.

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