Published on 20 August 2012
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has told the people of his tiny west
African nation that by the middle of September all those already
sentenced to death for crimes will be executed.
He added that crimes like banditry, drug trafficking or illicit use,
homosexuality, murder, terrorism and other subversive activities
against either the state or the people will not be tolerated.
Jammeh said in a televised address broadcast on Sunday evening and
Monday to mark this year's Muslim feast of Eid-al-Fitr that the
security forces and the judiciary will continue to be empowered to
enforce the law where applicable.
"By the middle of next month, all the death sentences would have been
carried out to the letter; there is no way my government will allow 99
percent of the population to be held to ransom by criminals," Jammeh
Though he did not give the exact figure of those to be executed, an
AFP toll puts the figure of those condemned to death since July 2010,
including former security chiefs, at 47.
However judicial sources say the figure is higher than that.
"All those guilty of serious crimes and (who) are condemned will face
the full force of the law. All punishments prescribed by law will be
maintained in the country to ensure that criminals get what they
deserve," Jammeh said.
"My government will take whatever legal action is necessary to expunge
these deadly and heinous acts from the country," he said.
Jammeh, a former military officer who seized power in a 1994 coup,
brooks no dissent in a country often blasted by rights bodies for