12 June 2022

Gambia: Ex-dictator Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year rule is known for its human rights abuses. One of them were the “witch hunts” which started in 2009 when he blamed an aunt’s death on witchcraft and lasted for seven years, occurring sporadically. “They struck deep terror and divisions in communities in Gambia.” In Memory House (run by the African Network against Extrajudicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances/ANEKED), the exhibition “We Are Not Done” shows portraits of 11 people who with their families “horrific abuses” under Jammeh. Memory House’s objective is the “unlearning a dictatorship” and besides the present exhibition, workshops about human rights and transitional justice are organised, first of all for young people who – born under Jammeh – need to be made aware “that dictatorship is not a normal system of government.” The Gambia may have gotten rid of Jammeh, but after-effects are ongoing: “Many Gambians did not testify before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), which heard witness testimony between January 2019 and mid-2021 about life under Mr Jammeh. Some (…) because they were frightened of possible repercussions.”

11 June 2022

UK/Rwanda: With the judge in charge arguing that he considers that there is no evidence there would be ill-treatment, refoulement or anything that violated the deported asylum seekers’ rights, the High Court in Britain has allowed the first flight taking UK asylum seekers to Rwanda to go ahead on Tuesday. Campaigners will take the case to the Court of Appeal on Monday. NB that according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UK’s arrangement with Rwanda is unlawful.

Alien species in the oceans and climate change: Shipping – which takes care of 90% of world trade – is the main pathway for marine species invasions and it is nowadays next to impossible to find a part of the ocean that has not been invaded by an alien species. Climate change altering temperatures and chemistry of the oceans will speed up this process of marine species invasion. The article gives some examples from South Africa.