‘Barrow pardoned 308 prisoners in 2017 not 401’

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By Tabora Bojang

President Adama Barrow in exercise of his constitutional powers has granted pardon to 308 prisoners serving sentences on series of offences ranging from theft, murder, drugs and others last year, according to the public relations officer of the Gambia Prison Services Spt. Momodou Lamin Ceesay.
He made the remarks yesterday at a press briefing to clarify an initial report on the matter in a GRTS end-of-year highlights documentary quoting Ansumana Manneh the director of prisons.

The Director had said in the documentary that 401 prisoners were granted pardon but according to PRO Ceesay the “error occurred due to oversight of the statistics unit of the prison” as reported to the director.
“This was our regret and we felt it is necessary to provide clarity and set the records for the interest of justice and we apologise for any inconvenience,” PRO Ceesay said

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According to PRO Ceesay, the pardoned inmates are from all the three-main detention centres of the country; Juvenile justice wing Old Jeshwang, state central prisons Mile 2 and Janjangbureh, respectively.
While expressing gratitude to the executive for showing mercy, Ceesay said: “We hope the trend will continue as pardons are very key in our reformation process”.

Since coming to power last year, President Barrow did not hesitate to exercise the power of prerogative of mercy to order the release of political prisoners and those detained without trial.

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