Justice Minister hints abolishing death penalty


By Mustapha Darboe Justice Minister Bubacarr Tambedou has said that as part of the rebuilding of democracy the death penalty should be not be in the country’s statute books. “I believe that the death penalty should be repealed. I think it has no place in any progressive democracy,” Tambedou, a former UN war crimes prosecutor, said. He further said he will encourage the government as a whole to embrace the idea. “And I am working, in collaboration with all my cabinet colleagues, on ensuring that the death penalty is no longer in our statute books.” Tambedou was speaking after a meeting with the President of Gambia Press Union, Bai Emil Touray. At that meeting the Justice Minister assured the GPU President that “bad media laws have no place in our statute books and it is the resolve of this government to enact laws that will facilitate the exercise of the right to freedom of expression in a responsible manner. “So media law reform is certainly a priority for this ministry during this transition period. We will be reaching out to the Gambia Press Union and other national and international organizations with an interest in the rights to freedom of expression to find the best laws for the country.” He vowed that any media law that is inconsistent with the constitution will not be enforced… “So if the Criminal Defamation and the sedition are not in accordance with the letter and the spirit of the constitution, then certainly we will not pursue any cases in that regard,” he stressed. He further revealed that his ministry considers reforming the criminal justice system as a whole saying that the system has been in bad faith in several instances during the past regime. “People have been maliciously prosecuted and others for the wrong reasons. “The criminal justice has been abused to a point that it is no longer credible and that is a top priority for my ministry.”]]>