Lawyer Ousainou Darboe has called on President Yahya Jammeh to take full advantage of the opportunity to turn over a new page and release all political prisoners.
“President Jammeh was very specific in his statement on July 22,” the leader of the main opposition United Democratic Party told Kairo News. “He did not made mention of political prisoners in the categories of those jailed for ‘Sedition charges’ and we have not yet been contacted notifying of Amadou Sanneh’s imminent release”.
Mr. Darboe’s comments come at a time Gambian leader has started kerping his promise to release prisoners convicted on treason, drugs trafficking and other related crimes.
But Mr. Darboe wanted President Jammeh to extend his prerogative of mercy by giving clemency to political prisoners and those convicted on sedition. The National Treasurer of the UDP, Amadou Sanneh, is among high profile prisoners who many believed deserves to be freed.
“Sedition is a lesser conviction than treason, and it bothers me why release treasonable convicts and not seditious convicts? How can anyone justify that, you are freeing rapist, murderers, treason convicts and skip seditious convicts and those jailed on ‘giving false information to a public officer”.
The seasoned lawyer commended the Gambian President’s attempts to turn a new page. “However, he cannot be selective in changing ways neither can he be half-hearted. The Gambia requires a complete and total overhaul in the way the government operates, the way it deals with the people, the international community, the media, civil society, opposition parties and critics in general.”
“President Jammeh must now understand that, Gambians and international community partners don’t want any games. People want comprehensive reforms and an adherence to international democratic norms.”
There is a big confusion presently in the country, and the APRC officials are wallowing in the political capital they are intending of scoring. However, the Lawyer Darboe further said, “I was at West Coast Radio yesterday afternoon, I made it clear that all those jailed on politically motivated cases have to be freed including those who fell out with Jammeh himself, including Pa Harry Jammeh, Lamin Jobarteh, Njogu Bah and others. If President Jammeh can muster the courage to free all political prisoners and open up the public space, of course, Gambians will welcome that. However, President Jammeh still has a lot of convincing to do.”
Lawyer Darboe hopes Amadou Sanneh is free. “So far, we have not been contacted or notified by any government authorities of his impending release.”
Thank you Mr Darboe. Gambians are understanding the need to end mental slavery. Yahya Jammeh is the worst thing to happen to Mama Gambia.