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Gambia to execute all death row inmates

Gambia will execute all death row inmates by the middle of September, according to the President.

Gambia president yahya jammeh oath 2012 1 19Enlarge
Gambian incumbent Yahya Jammeh (L) speaks with his wife, Zeineb Souma Jammeh, on Nov. 24, 2011 as he leaves a polling station in the capital Banjul after voting in the presidential elections. Gambians voted on Nov. 24 in polls, which some observers said were skewed in favor of Jammeh, who heaped scorn on criticism that his regime is repressive. (Seyllou/AFP/Getty Images)

Gambia's President has promised to carry out the death sentences for all of the nation's death row inmates before the middle of September.

According to CNN, the west African country last executed an inmate about 30 years ago. There is no clear reason for the change. 

"All those guilty of serious crimes and are condemned will face the full force of the law," said President Yahya Jambeh during a televised address on Sunday evening to mark this year's Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Fitr. "All punishments prescribed by law will be maintained in the country to ensure that criminals get what they deserve: that is, that those who kill are killed ... By the middle of next month, all the death sentences would have been carried out to the letter."

Jammeh, a former military officer, who seized power in a coup in 1994, said 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.

Amnesty International and the French government have condemned Jammeh's executive order, AFP reported. According to activists state that Gambia has 44 people on death row, two of whom are women.

According to the Atlantic Wire, Jammeh made a similar statement in 2009, but the order was not carried out.  

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/120823/gambia-execute-all-death-row-inmates