jammehThe release on Friday of high profile prisoners by the authorities has prompted mixed reactions in and outside the Gambia.

“We received the “amnesty” fanfare with circumspection. The dismal record of Yaya Jammeh on willfully breaking solemn constitutional oaths, religious oaths, political pledges, propensity for half-truths and stupendous deceptive disposition, conditioned us to receive this latest chicanery and manipulation with a pinch of salt,” said exiled opposition leader Mai Ahmad Fatty of Gambia Moral Congress (GMC).

In an address delivered on Tuesday on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the 1994 military takeover, President Jammeh announced
a general amnesty for 200 prisoners including those deemed to have been convicted for treasonable and drug related offenses.

Mai Fatty urged caution in considering the Gambian leader’s character. “With this man, even the saying “seeing is believing” does
not apply. We urge extreme caution. If it holds true which we greatly doubt, certainly, GMC w no less measure. Subsequent events will test this babble on the anvil of sincerity.”

The parading of some of the prisoners on State-owned Gambia Radio Television Services (GRTS) seems to have exacerbated a climate of
suspicion about the steps taken by President Jammeh to pardon them. To many observers , some of the released political detainees like former army chief Langtombong Tamba were turned into praise singers, and reiterated their readiness “to serve in anytime, anywhere and in any capacity.”

“I just watched the most repulsive display on GRTS!! Yaya Jammeh, Yankuba Badjie (NIA Director) and that shameless bunch parading
innocent people on TV goes beyond everything decent!! I am determined more than ever before to fight and end dictatorship. If Jammeh was
doing this for publicity, it backfired miserably!! Jailing these innocent elderly people and youths is just disgusting! To parade them
on TV and make them thank you!” voiced out Mama Linguere Sarr of Faturadio
network.

Former junta spokesperson Rtd Captain Ebou Jallow welcomed the move, and said today’s action “is a rejuvenation of the 22nd July
Revolutionary aspirations:”

In a news dispatch issued on Friday, Amnesty International the release of prisoners should include all those detained for expressing dissent.

“The release of at least 200 prisoners is a welcome step forward for human rights in Gambia, but should go further to release other
prisoners of conscience still detained in the country,” said the human rights monitoring group.

Written by Abdoulie Joh

Ends

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