By Binta Jaiteh
National Assembly Committee on Human Rights and Constitutional Matters on Wednesday consulted the National Human Right Commission’s opinion on the Criminal Offenses and Criminal Procedure Bills.
Mr. Emmanuel Joof, Chairman of the National Human Right Commission, said new the Bill wants to get rid of the death penalty initially and this was discussed that the death penalty is still in-laws.
“What this is trying to do is to remove it but why the removal is, is where the debate comes in,” he noted.
He also said all offences attached to the death penalty as a punishment under the laws have now been removed both under this bill and the procedure bill, adding this is in line with the Gambia International obligation under the second protocol to the ICCPR.
Chairman Joof, explained that even when it comes to the constitution and when it talks about the Right to life section (18) although it recognizes the death penalty but it has said as early as 1997 Constitution and the parliament was supposed to review the issue of the death penalty.
“From the commission’s stand as a Human Right Institution advising the committee that a lot of countries have the death penalty even in America but the rationale it gives is that if you kill, you will be killed so what causes people to kill are more complex. There are many underlining factors and those factors should be looked at,” he added.
He clarified that the commission did not say people who create offence should be free but said the death penalty is inhuman and people should be careful with the issues surrounding the death penalty.