|Yaya Jammeh's $ 3.5 million Potomac, Maryland mansion|
The United States Congress passed the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and was signed by President Obama today before he and the US Congress went on their Christmas break.
The law authorizes the US President to impose assets freeze and travel sanctions against any foreign person or entity responsible for carrying out extrajudicial killing, like the nine death row prisoners executed some of whom did not exhaust the legal remedies provisioned under Gambian law. The US law also provides for sanctions for human rights abuses.
The mansion pictured above was purchased by Yaya Jammeh in September of 2010 for $ 3.5 million. To conceal the real owner, he bought it under the unincorporated name of the "Trustees of My J Family Trust" which has been traced to Yaya Jammeh and family.
This new law has provided us, the democracy campaigners, the impetus needed to intensify our campaign against impunity and high level corruption that has come to characterize the Jammeh regime. The law gives the State Department the power to identify foreign culprits, including legal entities, for sanctions provided under the provisions of the new legal instrument.
The mansion belongs to the Gambian people and every effort will be made in the coming weeks and months to lobby the United States government for it to be returned to its rightful owners.