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EU Demands Gambia Halt Inmate Executions

  • VOA News

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton speaks during a news conference after discussions on the controversial Iranian nuclear program in Moscow, June 19, 2012.
The European Union is demanding Gambia immediately halt the execution of death-row inmates, after reports it recently executed several prisoners.

Foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton warns in a statement the European Union will "urgently" consider an appropriate response to the reported executions.

There are conflicting reports about whether Gambia executed inmates last week.

Amnesty International says Gambia executed nine death row inmates Thursday. But a Gambia civil society group based in Senegal tells VOA no executions have taken place.

The Gambian government has not confirmed or denied the reported executions.

Last week, President Yahya Jammeh said the death penalty will be "carried out to the letter" by mid-September.

If carried out, the death-row executions would be Gambia's first in more than 25 years.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.