Thirty-seven prisoners condemned to death in the Gambia have won a reprieve – at least temporarily. Why? Because of a huge global outcry.
The world responded with horror last month when Yahya Jammeh, dictator of this small west African country, executed nine prisoners and promised to empty out the country's death row by mid-September. The good news is that international pressure – from the African Union, the EU and numerous human rights groups – clearly had an effect: Jammeh has just announced a suspension of the execution plans, citing "numerous appeals".
He says the stay will last as long as there's no increase in "violent crime" in the country. But rights groups say the condemned include many political prisoners, some of them former government officials who have criticised Jammeh's harsh rule. They say the regime has reinstated the death penalty as a way to suppress dissent.
Jammeh's backtrack shows that global pressure is working – now we need to keep it up. Find out how and learn more.
Sources: Al Jazeera, BBC, News24, Avaaz