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24.05.2007 General News

Investigate Gambia killings - CHRI

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The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) has called for investigations into the death and disappearance about two years ago of some 50 immigrants, 44 of whom were Ghanaians, in the Gambia.

A statement issued in Accra by CHRI noted with regret that since the incident occurred, no official report had been published to adequately address the matter, which still remained unresolved and was yet to be fully scrutinized.

It said the immigrants who were said to be en route from Senegal to Europe were arrested by the Gambian authorities, detained and subjected to the most heinous crimes of torture by the use of machetes, axes, knives, sticks and other sharp objects.

CHRI said the remains of these immigrants were found littered throughout the Gambian coastal villages of Brufut and Ghana Town, adding that the incident was reported in the media but eventually abandoned.

The Ghanaian and Gambian authorities had since acknowledged that this was a regrettable experience that warranted immediate attention.

“Despite agreement between the two authorities to initiate thorough investigation into the matter, this has only met with frustrations. Admittedly the Gambian authorities have not been able to render positive regard to the matter and this has left facts regarding the incident extremely mysterious,” the statement said.

CHRI said in the absence of a thorough and consistent investigation the hopes of receiving an official report remained rather faint.

“CHRI has therefore called upon the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights to initiate an investigation into the extra judicial killings and demand the cooperation and commitment of the two states related to the incident namely, the Republic of Ghana and the Gambia.”

It also called on the Commission, as a matter of priority, to request a detailed report regarding the incident from the two states and also demand that the Gambian government apprehend and punish the perpetrators.

Source: GNA

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