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Global Conflicts/Terrorism

GAMBIA/EXECUTIONSBack
[Published: Tuesday August 28 2012]

Gambia executions giant leap backwards, Amnesty

London, 28 Aug - (ANA) - The decision of the Gambian president Yahya Jammeh to execute nine prisoners after more than a quarter of a century without execution would be a giant leap backwards”, Paule Rigaud, Amnesty International’s Africa deputy director, has said. “If confirmed the reported executions are a hugely retrograde step – they would bring The Gambia back into the minority of countries which are still executing, and we are urging the authorities to immediately halt any further possible executions” said Rigaud.  The last execution in the country took place in 1985, 27 years ago. Amnesty International had classified Gambia as abolitionist in practice, and therefore as one of the more than two thirds of states worldwide which have abolished the death penalty either in law or practice. In Africa, 22 of the 54 member states of the African Union are abolitionist in practice, and 16 are abolitionist in law for all crimes. On both 19 and 20 August, in a television address broadcast to mark the Muslim feast of Eid-al-Fitrt, President Jammeh had announced to the  nation that by the middle of September all existing death sentences would be “carried out to the letter”. According to The Gambian government, there were 42 men and two women on death row as of 31 December 2011, 13 of whom had been sentenced during that year. This year, three men have reportedly also received the death sentence, making a total of 47 people currently on death row. (ANA)
FA/ANA/28 August 2012--------------
 

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