president subject to confirmation by the National Assembly.” Once a person is convicted and sentenced the president has powers, after consultation with the committee, to grant to any person convicted of any offence a pardon either free or subject to lawful condition, grant to any person a respite or substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment imposed on any person for any offence or remit the whole or any part of any punishment. Foroyaa is of the view that the president should have made the 50th Anniversary meaningful by freeing prisoners who one way or the other are convicted for offences related to sedition or treason. In short, what would the President lose by releasing prisoners who deserve respite? Secondly, there are many Gambians abroad who are not charged with any crime but have fears that if they come home they would be persecuted or prosecuted for what they had said or done. Did the president say anything to negate such fears? A summary of what the President said is as follows: “Some of them I will not forgive for obvious reasons, a few of them. The rest are free to come home. They do not necessarily need to come home and support me. That is their business. Anybody who wants to use any means, to come in and destroy the country I will destroy you. Those who want to come and say he has pardon us, now we are free and wants to destabilise this country, I will wipe them out. So if anybody wants the peace of this country and to contribute to its development you are welcome.” Even though, the president did not specify who he is referring to as the unpardonable few, the fact that the discourse has started on the issue of not placing restriction on the freedom of movement of Gambians in and out of the country, should motivate the ECOWAS, the AU and the UN to send envoys and issue Press statements on the concrete position of the government. There are many crimes like Sedition which requires the fiat or permission of the Attorney general before an accused could be prosecuted. Unless a Cabinet White Paper is issued naming the few whose actions are unpardonable or the actions which are unpardonable and establishing the terms for safe return of those who risk prosecution Gambians who have fears cannot be certain of safe return. We hope a Cabinet White would be issued to clarify matters.]]>

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