Human Rights Legal Matters News

Germany opens trial of Gambia death squad suspect

by DW Africa.

Prosecutors in Germany accuse the man of crimes against humanity and murder in the Gambia. Among the victims of the so-called “Junglers” death squad was a prominent journalist and AFP correspondent.

A Gambian man accused of belonging to a death squad appeared in court in Germany on Monday facing charges of crimes against humanity.

The suspect Bai Lowe is also accused of murder and attempted murder as part of a group that assassinated opponents of dictator Yahya Jammeh.

What are the accusations?

The 46-year-old defendant is accused of being involved in two murders and attempted murder while working as a driver for a notorious assassination squad known as the Junglers.

The alleged crimes took place between December 2003 and December 2006.

German federal prosecutors claim the unit was used by Jammeh “to carry out illegal killing orders, among other things.” They say this was done with the aim of “intimidating the Gambian population and suppressing the opposition.”

Among the crimes linked to Lowe is the 2004 killing of journalist Deyda Hydara.

The 58-year-old correspondent for the news agency AFP was gunned down in his car on the outskirts of the Gambian capital Banjul on December 16, 2004.

While the case is the first of its kind to reach the trial stage, the 46-year-old is not the only person to be charged with crimes against humanity during Jammeh’s rule in the Gambia under universal jurisdiction.

Another alleged death squad member, Michael Correa, was charged in the United States in June 2020 with torturing people who were detained after a failed coup attempt against Jammeh in 2006. However, his trial has been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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