Stop The Executions: Says Minority Leader
Friday, September 14, 2012
Honorable Samba Jallow, of the National Reconciliation Party (NRP), told The Daily News in an interview yesterday at his office in Banjul that section 18 of the 1997 constitution states that no person shall be deprived of his/her life intentionally except in the execution of a sentence of a death imposed by a court of a competent jurisdiction in respect of criminal offenses for which the penalty is death under the laws of The Gambia has they have effect in accordance with sub-section 2 of which he/she has been lawfully convicted.
According to the Dankunku Parliamentarian, sub-section 2 states as from the coming into force of this constitution, no court in The Gambia shall be competent to imposed a sentence of death for any offense unless the sentence is prosecuted by law and the offense involve violence or the administration of any toxic substances resulting in the death of any person.
“The law was effected in 1997, and the death penalty was imposed,” he said.
Jallow further noted that sub-section3 of the constitution reads: the NATIONAL Assembly shall within 10 years from the date of coming into force of this constitution, reviewed the desirability or otherwise, of the total abolition of the death penalty in The Gambia.
“ The recent executions of nine death row inmates as far as the 1997 constitution is concern, is unconstitutional because after 10 years, according to the constitution it should be taken back to the Parliament for reviewed which was never done and now the executions are carried out. This is contradictory,” he said.
On the recent arrest and detention of the two Gambian Journalists, Bah explained that section 25 of the same constitution sub-section D states that every person have the freedom to assemble and demonstrate peacefully without arms, adding that it was rather unfortunate that the two were instead detained despite applying for a permit to hold a peaceful demonstrations.
“They have taken the right step as the constitution has mandated them to apply through the office of the Inspector General of Police. I am urging the police to go back to the constitution because the journalists did what was right and in line with the 1997 constitution. This can stain the democracy of the country as our human rights record is appalling and arresting people without any reason would contribute negatively towards the country,” he said.
Author: Alieu Darboe