Target: Gambian President Yahya Jammeh
Goal: Stop planned execution of more than forty death row inmates
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh recently announced plans to execute all death row inmates meaning that the small west African nation would sanction up to 44 deaths as a result. Gambia has faced much opposition from human rights groups in recent years for their threatened use of the death penalty, especially because of the country’s failure to live up to international standards regarding fair trials. Currently, the death penalty is given to those accused of murder and treason, with the latter often being used to stifle public dissent in the region. In recent years, capital punishment has also been threatened against some drug offenders, however, it is unclear whether or not this is still the case.
While President Jammeh issued a similar threat back in 2009 and did not follow through, there is great concern among many human rights groups that he will not do the same this time unless he faces great pressure from international forces. The French and British governments have both publicly spoken out against the executions and, alongside groups like Amnesty International, have put a great deal of pressure on the small African nation to discontinue these killings. Gambia has not executed an inmate in over 30 years, and it is unclear as of yet what the change in policy was caused by.
Since President Jammeh took power in the 1990s, Gambia has faced heavy criticism internationally for its various human rights abuses, mostly relating to the stifling of public dissent. Sign this petition and urge Gambian authorities to stop the hastily planned execution of 44 death row inmates.
To His Majesty King Yahya Jammeh,
Your recently announced plans to execute all inmates on death row came as a shock to the international community. While Gambia has handed down the death penalty for a number of years now, the country still refuses to meet international standards for fair trials, and often uses the threat of execution to deter political dissenters. The haste with which Gambian authorities plan to conduct these executions only goes to show that the killings are backed strongly by political motive and looking to gain some sort of shock value.
While it is important that justice be served, both in Gambia and around the world, that can only happen after a fair trial where the punishment is fitted for the crime. The death penalty is an abomination and overreaction in almost every case, and to execute 44 inmates in less than four weeks is disgraceful. We urge that you cancel these planned executions and stop using capital punishment as a threat against political dissidents and others in your country.
[Your Name Here]