German human rights commissioner criticizes executions in the Gambia

28 August 2012, Sweetcrude/African Press Organization (APO), BERLIN, Germany – Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, has criticized executions in the Gambia, noting that he is “appalled at reports that nine people were executed in the Gambia at the weekend.

“Immediately after the President’s announcement that all prisoners sentenced to death would be executed, I intervened vis à vis the Embassy of the Gambia. I requested that no executions be carried out and made clear that Germany is strongly opposed to the death penalty.

Given the President’s announcement that all prisoners sentenced to death would be executed in September and in light of reports that executions have already been carried out, I fear the worst for the prisoners remaining on death row.

I urgently appeal to the Gambian Government to stop the planned executions of further prisoners.”

The German Government has been campaigning to bring about the worldwide abolition of the death penalty. In carrying out the executions, the Gambia has broken with its de facto moratorium: until this weekend, there had not been any executions since 1981.

On 19 August 2012, Gambian President Jammeh pledged to have all 47 death row inmates executed by mid September.

The competent German Embassy and the European Union mission urgently request that the death sentences not be carried out in the Gambia.



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  • While we don’t subscribe to the death penalty as a deterrent against heinous crimes being committed, we believe that societies must evolve to get to a point where it determines that which works for it and that which doesn’t. The German commissioner may have good intentions but what does he think the intentions of the government of the Gambia amount to – bad intentions? Why hasn’t he taken up issues with states like Texas and others in the USA where capital punishment is still in place?