Unresolved Murder of Haruna Jatta Prompt Outcry on Lack of Justice for his Family!!


Unresolved Murder of Haruna Jatta Prompt Outcry on Lack of Justice for his Family!!

Alagi Yorro Jallow

Police killings, impunity, and health inequities are now new, and neither is the struggle against them in new Gambia. This newfound visibility, however, brought about by swelling political and social movements in which to press for constructive change in our security and governance initiative. The time for action is now to end political impunity and render Justice to Haruna Jatta.

Haruna Jatta died of police bestiality; he died of police brutality; he was a victim of police killings of an unarmed civilian protesting. Haruna Jatta’s killings marks the first verdict for fatal police killings under the watch of President Adama Barrow.  In the case of Haruna Jatta, the abject failures of  the Gambia government  to call for criminal prosecution for his death starkly revealing  the profound  link between ethnic chauvinism  and the people’s health illuminate the flip side  of this pain: the fundamental  links between political,  social justice and public health is the view that everyone  deserves  equal  human rights: Haruna Jatta’s uninterrupted sleep, living into eternity the true meaning of “sleep ” as a euphemism of political death. It’s unbelievable and incomprehensible that law enforcement has not been able to bring Haruna’s killer to justice.

It was a symbolic rite of passage. Haruna Jatta, we believe, spent nine months in his mother’s womb before he was born. And he spent two years in a state of sleep in the “womb of time” without justice to his killer! What does it mean to act with impunity?  Esoteric numerology? You may so think.

Feeling hurt and betrayed, the family of Haruna Jatta may seek redress through the Court, by filing a lawsuit with the Gambian  High Court, by sending a petition to Court of Justice of the African Union , by using the Human Rights Commission Act, or by complaining to the Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice. The police should never have resorted to self-help. Our past of civilian military despotism evokes a sad memory about it. Democracy does not support it. Due process of law forbids it. And the rule of law abhors it.

What was the offence of Haruna Jatta?
And  what was the’ sin Haruna committed that earned him instant death.
Where is the Gambian Police?
Where is the Gambian State?
Will Haruna Jatta get justice?
Did Haruna get justice?
If Haruna did not get justice, are we to expect Bridget to get justice?
Maybe, maybe not.
Some have argued that Haruna did not get justice because a man of means, influence, and connection was fingered in his brutal murder.
And so nothing happened to that man of means.
If this was true of Haruna’s case, is there a possibility that Haruna will get justice?
And yet, we claim to live in a country where law rules and reigns.
What is the position of the law on this?
What is the relationship between sin, crime and law in the Gambia?
Will the Gambia State allow Bridget to die in vain?
Will the Gambian people allow this murder go unpunished?
God Almighty, give us a country!
We certainly do not have one.
And, yes, we need one and we deserve to have one.
Where law, and nothing else reign.
God, give us a country.

The circumstances surrounding the death of Haruna Jatta require an independent investigation. If I were the Attorney General, I would authorize a coroner inquest, including a first-class autopsy to determine the cause of death. Not because of any desire to Indict the Police, but to conduct our law enforcement processes in line with the rule of law and international best practices. The State and the Police may learn some lessons from such an inquiry. May the Good Lord have mercy on the soul of Haruna Jatta. May he continue to sleep in peace.

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