Banjul: The Supreme Islamic Council of Gambia, after a long silence, has nodded to the executions of prisoners by the incumbent government of President Yahya Jammeh in the country.
According to a statement issued by the Supreme Islamic Council of Gambia, the council has defended the execution by a firing squad of nine death row inmates by the government of Gambia’s President, Yahya Jammeh.
The execution of the prisoners last month was made a few days after Jammeh in a meeting with Muslim leaders on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr threatened to execute all death row inmates by the end of this month to curb crime in the country.
Jammeh stated, “All punishment prescribed by the law will be maintained in the country to ensure that criminals get what they deserve, that is, those who killed are killed and those who deserve to be put away from the society are put away from the society in accordance with the law.”
“There is no way that my government would allow 99 per cent of the population to be held to ransom by criminals,” he added.
The Islamic Council said that it is in support of the execution which it says was done accordance to the laws of the country.
The President of the Islamic Council, Imam Muhammad Lamin Touray, said, “The council is in support of the move [execution] based on the laws of the country which the members of council are not an exempt.”
“Concerning the act [execution] being good or not good, Allah Himself who created mankind and love them more than their maternal mothers, has decreed that the only way to prevent live of human beings from been abused by their fellow human beings is to end the life of premeditated murderer,” he added.
The council added that the controversial capital punishment law was approved in a referendum and the Jammeh regime had in executing the prisoners acted according to the laws of the land.
The council further said, “Taking a human life deliberately is considered in Islam to be equivalent to taking the life of all mankind in this world. In this regard, the council deems it fit that all the people of the Gambia to stand by the custodian of the constitution in all possibly ways in securing the peace, tranquility and stability of this nation.”“We shall live above the sentiments and come to terms with reality. As such, we would like to appeal once again to the general public that they should be law abiding and maintain peace, security and tranquility in our beloved country the Gambia with her peace loving people,” the council concluded.