Today 22 July 2015, President Yahya Jammeh has given amnesty to political prisoners, death row prisoners and all his so-called critics who live in the diaspora. Jammeh made the announcement during his speech to celebrate his illegitimate overthrow of the former PPP government led by Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara. Jammeh said in his speech “from 1994 to date, people in my administration have committed various offences, some of them are capital offences. If I don’t forgive, then I am not a good leader.” says Jammeh and he went further to say, “If we don’t forgive each other, then how will Allah forgive me as the leader of this country.” Among the prisoners that are scheduled to be pardon includes General Lang Tombong Tamba, Ensa (Jesus) Badjie, Modou Gaye and Lai Joof.
Meanwhile, this is a good news, especially for the families of those who were falsely imprisoned. They deserved to be reunited with their loved ones. According to some human rights activists “Jammeh’s amnesty is a welcoming news, but people need to be cautious as the country still has those draconian laws that could lead a person to prison for 15 years just by speaking your mind, those laws need changing for people to take Jammeh’s amnesty seriously.”
However, as we know Jammeh is seeking Gambians to forgive him, but for that to happen, Jammeh needs to repeal the indemnity he gave to the killers of 10/11 April 2000 victims so that they can face justice. For us at Gambia Voices we whole heartedly welcome Jammeh’s amnesty, but as long as justice has not been served for our colleagues, there is no relenting in our efforts to see justice for 10/11 April victims. Long live Gambia!