Africa

New Gambia leader pledges to repeal peaceful protest ban

Gambia's president-elect says his administration wants to repeal all laws that criminalize nonviolent protests in the tiny West African country.

President Yahya Jammeh was handed a surprise defeat last week after 22 years in power. He had banned such demonstrations, and human rights groups say those who violated the order were arrested and sometimes tortured or killed.

President-elect Adama Barrow said Friday that once his administration takes over in January it will work to "repeal all laws that criminalize speech or nonviolent civil dissent."

Jammeh conceded defeat after the election, and people took to the streets crying "Freedom!"

Several dozen political prisoners have since been released on bail, though an untold number still languish in prisons.