Jan 4, 2010, 1:15 PM
President Yahya Jammeh has vowed he will not bow down to pressure over the recent execution of nine death row inmates in the country, describing as a “damn lie,” reports by the BBC that he suspended the executions due to pressure from the international community.
“Before coming to this venue, I listened to BBC world news and they said I have ordered the suspension of the executions, but what they said was that I was criticized by the international community together with African leaders and, most importantly, pressure from the European Union. They said because of that I suspended the executions,” he explained.
Jammeh was addressing an estimated ten thousand Gambian and non-Gambian youths, who descended on his farm in Kanilai on Saturday.
“What a big damn lie! Do I look like anybody who will succumb to human pressure? No way! Whatever I do, I do it for the interest of the Gambian people. The death penalty is for murderers, and has nothing to do with politics,” Jammeh told cheering youths.
According to him, the laws of The Gambia are very clear and have nothing to do with politics.
Declaring that he is not a colony of the European Union, Jammeh said “If I have to sign 10,000 death warrants to save one million Gambians I will do so. I will not allow less than 1 percent of the population to hold the entire country hostage.”
President Jammeh’s comments came a day after the presidency announced that he has placed a moratorium on the execution of the remaining prisoners on death row, following appeals from Gambian regional leaders, the council of elders, women and youth groups in the country.