Gambia vows to execute all death row inmates by September

“You have heard that it was said: An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you this: do not oppose evil with evil… You have heard that it was said: Love your neighbor and do not do good to your enemy.  But this I tell you: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,  so that you may be children of your Father in Heaven.”

– Matthew 5:38-39, 43-44

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Death row convicts will be executed by mid-September, President Yahya Jammeh said in a speech on state media Sunday that was rebroadcast Monday.

“All those guilty of serious crimes and are condemned will face the full force of the law,” he said. “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.”

By the end of last year, Gambia had 44 people on death row, including two women, according to human rights activists.  The tiny West African nation last executed an inmate about 30 years ago.  It is unclear what prompted the change in stance.

Amnesty International, the French government and other rights groups condemned the execution order.

Read more:

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/23/world/africa/gambia-inmates-execution/index.html