Gambia’s Attorney General and Justice Minister, Aboubacarr Tambadou, said Tuesday that President Adama Barrow has commuted the death sentence of 22 inmates to life imprisonment after they were convicted of capital murder.
The move, he said, is in line with gov’t commitment to upholding the moratorium declared by the Gambian leader on the implementation of death penalty.
Tambadou made the announcement during a news conference held at the Ministry of Justice located along Marina Parade in Banjul.
Tiny Gambia made headlines in 2012 after former longtime ruler decided to endorse the execution of 9 death row inmates, provoking waves of condemnations across the globe. The new administration has vowed to right the wrongs of the past in taking a stance against the implementation of capital punishment that is highly welcomed by prominent human rights groups.
Weighing in on the three cases of death sentences echoed by Amnesty International, Justice Minister Tambadou made it clear that Gambian courts will continue to follow the law in delivering death sentence for convicted murderers.
“I am afraid that is still the law. The death penalty is constitutional provision,” he added. ” We’ve seen how the death has divided public opinion in the country.”
However, he was quick to add that gov’t has expressed its preference for total abolition of death penalty.
“I can assure you that none will be executed,” he said with certitude.
While highlighting gov’t position on the issue of death penalty, Tambadou pointed out that what will be in the Constitution will depend on Gambians.
The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) is currently conducting massive consultations on the country’s Fundamental Law.
“We will wait for the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) to conclude its work and the gov’t will decide in the best interest of our country,” he remarked.
Written by Abdoulie John