Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, commented as follows on reports about executions in the Gambia:
“I am appalled at reports that nine people were executed in the Gambia at the weekend. Immediately after the President’s announcement that all prisoners sentenced to death would be executed, I intervened vis‑à‑vis the Embassy of the Gambia. I requested that no executions be carried out and made clear that Germany is strongly opposed to the death penalty.
Given the President’s announcement that all prisoners sentenced to death would be executed in September and in light of reports that executions have already been carried out, I fear the worst for the prisoners remaining on death row.
I urgently appeal to the Gambian Government to stop the planned executions of further prisoners.”
The German Government has been campaigning to bring about the worldwide abolition of the death penalty. In carrying out the executions, the Gambia has broken with its de facto moratorium: until this weekend, there had not been any executions since 1981.
On 19 August 2012, Gambian President Jammeh pledged to have all 47 death row inmates executed by mid‑September.
The competent German Embassy and the European Union mission urgently request that the death sentences not be carried out in the Gambia.