Gambia urged to commute death sentences
DAKAR – Gambia’s president insisted on Sunday he would not bow to pressure over his country’s use of capital punishment as the opposition urged him to commute death sentences.
President Yahya Jammeh announced on Friday he was imposing a moratorium on executions, after coming under intense criticism for the firing squad killing of nine convicts last month.
On Sunday, main opposition leader Ousainou Darboe called on Jammeh to go further and commute death sentences to life in prison.
Darboe told AFP that the decision to halt executions came “as a result of serious international pressure and it was right that the government has responded in a mature way to the outcry.”
But “I think he should go further than this and commute the sentences of all those on death row to life imprisonment,” said Darboe, leader of the United Democratic Party that was defeated by Jammeh in last year’s election.
The president, however, insisted he would not be told what to do.
“Do I look like somebody who will bow down to human pressure? No way,” Jammeh told thousands of Gambian youths gathered in his home village of Kanilai to show support for executions. – Nampa-AFP