Gambia Takes a Step Ahead Towards End of Death Penalty

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The Government took a step again towards the end of death penalty in the Gambia. During the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, president Adama Barrow signed a series of five treaties, including an optional protocol to end capital punishment. 

“By signing the treaties, the new Gambia continues to promote democracy and show the commitment of the state to protect lives of political activists,” President Adama Barrow said referring to four other treaty pledges on issues including forced disappearances.

The last execution in the country was to 2012: nine detainees had been shot. This signing is great news for the defenders of human rights in the country.

Many activists have been pleasantly surprised by this decision of the president. As Madi Jorbateh, in charge of Tango, the organization that brings together NGOs from the country: “I am proud of this progress. I don’t think that death penalty deters crime. And in case of bad trial, an innocent person can be sentenced to death. I don’t think that the judicial system should be based on the idea of revenge. »

“This is a positive step forward for Gambia when just five years ago people on death row were tragically executed and abolition seemed a pipe dream. We hope Gambia will lead the way, as no Anglophone country in West Africa has yet abolished the death penalty,” said Amnesty International West Africa researcher Sabrina Mahtani.

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