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President of the Republic of The Gambia His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya A.J.J Jammeh Babili Mansa in exercise of his prerogative of mercy has pardoned over 250 convicts in the country’s prisons, imprisoned within the period 1994 to 2013. This was on the occasion of the celebration in Banjul of the 21st anniversary of the July 22nd Revolution.
The prison authorities have since complied with the order to release the prisoners, with effect from Friday July 24. The presidential amnesty was for various specified offences, and among those benefiting are death row inmates convicted for treason and murder, and for drug trafficking and rape.
The death row prisoners pardoned and released are all those convicted for murder and have served more than 10 years of their sentence; all those convicted of treason from 1994 to 2013; all those convicted of possessing cannabis and have served more than three years of their sentence, except repeat offenders; all those convicted of trafficking in cocaine and other hard drugs and have served more than five years of their sentence; all those convicted of raping persons above 21 years.
The prisoners released included foreigners of different nationalities convicted of murder, rape, drug trafficking and arm robbery. They were to be deported immediately upon their release.
President Jammeh also extended an olive branch to Gambians in the diaspora. He announced that all dissidents abroad are pardoned and should come home to work and contribute their quota to national development.
Subsequently, the Office of the President in a press release announced that 12 relatives of the December 30, 2014 attackers, who were held as part of the investigation of the crime, have also been released. President Jammeh also ordered the release of inmates in the prisons, who were convicted and jailed before 1994, another release announced.
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