Commonwealth seriously concerned about Gambian executions

Posted by Will Henley and Rita Payne, CJA UK

28 August 2012

Statement by Commonwealth Spokesperson

Commonwealth Spokesperson and Director of Communications and Public Affairs Richard Uku has expressed serious concern at the recent execution of nine death row prisoners in The Gambia.

Since the first media reports of the executions, the Commonwealth Secretariat had sought verification of the facts from the Gambian Government. The confirmation by the Government on Monday 27 August that these executions were indeed carried out makes this a matter of grave concern.

Speaking on behalf of Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma, Mr Uku said the Commonwealth called on the Government of The Gambia to renounce plans for any further executions.

“The Secretary-General wishes to emphasise to the Government of The Gambia that all members of the Commonwealth have subscribed to Commonwealth values, which reflect the highest international standards of the rule of law,” the Spokesperson said.

In this context, Mr Uku noted that the Commonwealth and The Government of The Gambia agreed during the Secretary-General’s visit to Banjul in April this year that the Commonwealth would help the country establish a human rights commission, as well as a human rights division and institutional support for its Judicial Services Commission and Judicial Education Institute.

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