Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has pardoned a total of 174 prisoners who were serving various jail terms at the notorious state central prison of Mile II.

Acting under the powers conferred upon him by the Constitution, President Barrow used the occasion of the 52nd Independence Anniversary to pardon the prisoners.

Out of the 174 pardoned, only 74 prisoners were released on Saturday night while the other remaining 100 prisoners will be released in subsequent days.

Family members, friends and well wishers gathered at the gates of the prisons to welcome the released prisoners. They all expressed joy and happiness on this day saying it was indeed a surprise to them. They also prayed for the others in the prison so they can also have such an opportunity in order to reunite with their families.

Meanwhile, those pardoned include some non Gambians among them Senegalese and Guinean nationals. They were escorted out in an Immigration vehicle and headed to Banjul for paperwork to their various countries of origin.

Hundreds of people are still in the prison without being charged or put before a court of law. They were arrested by agents in the former government of Yahya Jammeh and unlawfully caged at the dirty cells of the prisons.