President Yahya Jammeh says all death row inmates will be executed by mid September
he government of President Yahya Jammeh has today confirmed the execution of 9 condemned prisoners.
According to our sources in the Gambia, the ministery of Interior issued a statement which was broadcast over the state media, GRTS radio and television on Monday evening, said the nine inmates where executed last Sunday night by 'firing squad'. Amnesty International had earlier said the executions were carried out on Thursday night. Although the statement failed to mention where the executions were carried out, it did say three civilians were among those killed. They were Lamin B Darboe, Gibril Bah and a Senegalese woman, Tabara Samba.
The other executed inmates were former military officers convicted of armed attacks on two military barracks in the towns Farafenni and Kartong in 1996 and 1997.
According to a press release signed by Mr. Assan Tangara, Permanent Secretary for the ministry of Interor, Dawda Bojang, Malang Sonko, Ex-Lieutenant Lamin Jarjou, Ex-Sergeant Lt. Alieu Bah, Ex-Sergeant Lamin F Jammeh, Buba Yarboe, Lamin B. Darboe,Gibril Bah and Tabara Samba female were executed by firing squad on Sunday 26th August 2012.
“Following the convictions and pronouncements of death sentences by the Gambian courts of competent jurisdiction, and further to the exhaustion of their appeals, the Ministry of interior wishes to inform the general public that the following convicts were executed by firing squad on Sunday 26th August 2012”, the release said Monday August 27, 2012.
The release further stated: “The general public is hereby warned that the rule of law as regard the peace and stability and the protection of lives, property and liberty will not be compromised for whatever reason”.
The release stressed that that all acts of violence, criminal activities and indiscipline resulting to murder, treason, arson, trafficking in drugs and humans and the likes of such offences attracting death sentences shall not be tolerated.
“Therefore, all sentences as prescribed by law will be carried out to the letter including the death penalty”, the release said.
According to the release the general public is further called to respect the fundamental human right of all citizens and residents in the Republic of the Gambia.
The release pointed out that the Republic of The Gambia is a sovereign state,which, like other sovereign states, currently implementing the death penalty, has the right to implement its domestic laws as stipulated in her constitution.
'Crimes Committed' by Those Executed:
Dawda Bojang was charged with brutal and gruesome murder of RONALD STANLEY FORD, a British national. He was convicted by the Kanifing Magistrate's Court on 29th August 2007 and sentenced to life. He appealed the life sentence which was dismissed and was instead handed a death sentence on 30th July, 2010.
Malang Sonko was charged with murder of Buba Jawara by hitting him with a wooden stick on his neck. He was convicted by the Brikama Magistrate's Court and sentenced to death on January 30th, 2012. No appeal was filed by the convict.
Ex-Lieutenant Lamin Jarjou, Ex- Sergeant alias Ex Lt. Alieu Bah and Ex-Sergeant Lamin F Jammeh, were charged with two counts of treason, two counts of murder of lance Corporal Kebba Drammeh and Private Bakary Ceesay when they attacked Kartong military barracks in 1997. They were convicted and sentenced to death by the High Court of The Gambia on the 27th of October, 1998. Their appeals were rejected.
Tabara Samba, the only female and a Senegalese national, was charged with murder of Ebrima Nyang, her husband on account of marrying a second wife. She was convicted on the 26th September, 2007 and sentenced to death. Her appeal was dismissed.
Buba Yarboe was charged with 'gruesome and brutal' murder of her biological mother, Jainaba Jarjou at Busumbala by hitting her on the head with an iron rod. He was convicted and sentenced to death by the High Court on November 3, 2010. He did not appeal against his sentence and conviction.
Lamin BS Darboe was charged with murder of Muhammed Ould Faal, a Mauritanian national whom court papers said was hit with a blunt object on the head on the 2nd April 1985 at Sinchu Alagie in the Kombo North district. He was convicted and sentenced to death on the 3rd December, 1986. His appeal against the verdict on the 13th day of June 1988 was dismissed.
Gibril Bah was also charged with murder. Court papers said he stabbed Njuga Samba in the left ear on the 18th December 1997 at Mariama Kunda village in the Kombo North District,Western Region. Judgment was delivered on the 30th day of January 2004 in which the accused was sentenced to death. He appealed the conviction but was dismissed.
The executions which drew a barrage of condemnations from Gambia civil society organizations and the international community, including the African Union, Ecowas, the European Union and Amnesty International, followed a pronouncement by the President that all death row inmates would be executed by mid September. The
pronouncement was made during a tradiotional meeting between the head of state and Muslim elders on the day of Eid-el-Fitr (a Muslim feast marking the end of the fasting 'Ramadan'). There are over 44 inmates on death row in the Gambia.
Sources tell Senegambia News that Lamin BS. Darboe's death sentence was infact commuted to life imprisonment by former president Jawara, and questions are now being asked why he was placed on death row.
President Yahya Jammeh has ruled the country since 1994 after overthrowing the country's firsrt post colonial leader Sir Dawda K. Jawara. He tolerates no dissent and has muzzled the press and freedom of speech and opposition activities.
His regime is accused of killing a dozen government officials, including former intelligence chief Daba Marenah in the aftermath of the 2006 failed coup attempt in which former army chief Lang Tombong Tamba was implicated. He is now incarcerated in the country's notorious prison, Mile Two, after handing a death sentence by a judicial system dominated by mercenary Nigerian judges.
The interior ministry statement did not say whether the remaining death row inmates will be executed.
Aside from his infamous announcement of having a cure for HIV/AIDS, Yahya Jammeh had been in the international headlines before. His security forces gunned down 12 unarmed students during a demonstration in 2000, and four years later, assassinated a newspaper editor and French news agency's reporter Deyda Hydara. And in 2006, his security agents kidnapped a newspaper reporter Ebrima Manneh, who is now presumed death - and not to mention the massacre of foreign nationals in the country, majority of whom were Europe-bound Ghanaian migrants - 52 were hacked to death on the outskirts of metro Gambia.
With the execution of the 9 prisoners, one wonders whether Gambian security forces sworn to protect the lives of their people, will only mutter imprecations in fear for their own lives, or be bold enough to remove their unstable commander in chief.