Emmanuel Daniel Joof, an international human rights lawyer and chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, has said that Ghana has right and obligation to pursue in the case of her 44 nationals killed in The Gambia in 2005.
Mr Joof was speaking in Accra recently on the topic “Justice for GH44” at a symposium to mark International Human Rights Day.
The symposium was organised by the Jammeh2Justice Ghana Campaign, a CSO coalition formed to advocate justice and compensation for the survivors and victims’ families of the massacred Ghanaians in The Gambia in 2005.
Mr Joof urged Ghana to re-open an investigation into the unlawful killings and ultimately seek the extradition and trial in Ghana of named perpetrators of the gruesome extrajudicial killing.
“The Ghanaian authorities should also seek the extradition and trial in Ghana of named perpetrators who may not be on Gambian soil but has been implicated in the gruesome murders. Or where this is difficult, the Ghanaian authorities should put pressure to bear on the Government of the Gambia to seek the extradition of these perpetrators to face justice in The Gambia.”
He said failure to get justice and compensation for the victims and their families will perpetuate impunity, which must not be allowed.
“There cannot be impunity for such hideous crimes. It cannot be condoned nor excused. We must send a strong warning to perpetrators and would-be perpetrators that the Gambia and Ghana would not stand idly by while human rights are violated with impunity or where justice eludes victims or their families for lack of commitment. Yes, we too can,” he said.
The recent testimonies of three Gambian soldiers at the ongoing Gambia Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) confessing their roles in the extrajudicial killing of the Ghanaians and other West African migrants have renewed attention to the matter.