modou-gaye-dig-d_20150704131549827Gambian President has granted amnesty to 85 prisoners.

Among those who enjoyed presidential amnesty was a death row inmate whose sentence was later commuted to life in prison. Modou Gaye, a former deputy Inspector General of Police, was among eight people condemned to death after they were convicted in a 2009 coup attempt. The pardoned prisoners also included drugs convicts.

President Yahya Jammeh’s pardon message was relayed over national television last night. The amnesty is in honour of The Gambia’s 50th independence anniversary and the Holy Month of Ramadan. President Jammeh’s office fails to provide the criterion he uses to pardon prisoners, which has been a tradition in the country’s history.

Gambian leader presides over a government that has no programmes geared towards helping former prisoners resettle in their new life. In the absence of such a help, Mr. Jammeh expected the pardoned prisoners to become “self-reliant and law-abiding citizens.”

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