Death sentences imposed on soldiers accused of participating in December’s attempted coup d’état in Gambia are a cruel violation of the right to life and the right to a fair trial, Amnesty International said today.
A military court handed down death sentences to three soldiers and sentences of life imprisonment to three others following a trial on Monday 30 March 2015. The trial was held in secret; media and independent observers were barred from observing the proceedings.
"Gambia’s justice system is deeply flawed and we have concerns about the fairness of the trial, given that it was held in secret,” said Stephen Cockburn, Amnesty International Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa.
“Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception. The death penalty is a violation of the right to life and the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. Many countries in West Africa are moving away from the use of death penalty and it is disappointing that the Gambia has not followed this trend.”