Africa

Gambia's new president commits to end human rights abuses

  • In this photo taken on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, Gambia President Adama Barrow, left, signs a document during his inauguration ceremony in Banjul, Gambia. As Gambia enters a new era of democracy, President Adama Barrow has reiterated his commitment to ending human rights abuses in the country. (AP Photo/Kuku Marong)

    In this photo taken on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, Gambia President Adama Barrow, left, signs a document during his inauguration ceremony in Banjul, Gambia. As Gambia enters a new era of democracy, President Adama Barrow has reiterated his commitment to ending human rights abuses in the country. (AP Photo/Kuku Marong)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, Gambia President Adama Barrow speaks during his inauguration ceremony in Banjul, Gambia. As Gambia enters a new era of democracy, President Adama Barrow has reiterated his commitment to ending human rights abuses in the country. (AP Photo/ Kuku Marong)

    In this photo taken on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, Gambia President Adama Barrow speaks during his inauguration ceremony in Banjul, Gambia. As Gambia enters a new era of democracy, President Adama Barrow has reiterated his commitment to ending human rights abuses in the country. (AP Photo/ Kuku Marong)  (The Associated Press)

Gambia's new President Adama Barrow has reiterated his commitment to ending human rights abuses in the country.

Barrow on Saturday said orders have been given for all those detained without trial to be released. He spoke about greater freedoms in a ceremony held so that Gambians could witness firsthand and celebrate his inauguration.

The 22-year rule of former President Yahya Jammeh was marred by clampdowns on dissenting views, disappearances and detentions without trial. Rights groups have called for the release of political prisoners, many of whom have already been freed since Barrow won December elections.

Jammeh clung to power, creating a political crisis that forced Barrow to be inaugurated in January in Senegal. International pressure brought Jammeh to fly into exile.