The Gambia has passed a bill imposing life imprisonment for some homosexual acts, potentially worsening the climate for sexual minorities in a country with one of Africa's most vocal anti-gay leaders. Yahya jammeh homosexuality in christianity bill amending the criminal code was passed last and brings life sentences for "aggravated homosexuality", minority leader Samba Jallow said.
Jallow said that, while his National Reconciliation Party did not condone homosexuality, he voted against the bill along with one other lawmaker. Homosexual acts were already punishable by up to 14 years in prison under a Gambian law that was amended in to apply to women in addition to men. The bill now awaits approval by president Yahya jammeh homosexuality in christianity Jammeh, an autocratic ruler who in instructed gay men and lesbians to leave the country or risk having their heads cut off.
Speaking on state television in February, Jammeh said, "We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively. Jammeh, who came to power in a coup and is famous for speeches condemning Western powers, has not addressed the new bill publicly. National Assembly speaker Abdoulie Bojang confirmed the new bill was passed last month but would not provide further details.
A draft seen by the Associated Press contains language identical to a controversial anti-gay bill signed into law in Uganda earlier this year. The term also applies when the suspect is the parent or guardian of the other person or is "in authority over" him or her.
It was not immediately clear whether there were changes the draft prior to the National Assembly vote. Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act, which drew widespread international condemnation, was overturned last month by the
Yahya jammeh homosexuality in christianity constitutional court, which declared the law illegal because it was passed during a parliamentary session that lacked a quorum.
Human Rights Watch reported in May that the legislation had triggered "a surge in human rights violations", including arrests, police abuse and evictions. The Gambia has previously launched occasional crackdowns on the country's gay people.
A raid at a poolside birthday party in the capital, Banjul, led to the arrests of 18 men, some of whom said they were interrogated and beaten before undergoing a public trial that destroyed their reputations. The new bill could make life even worse for Gambia's gay people, said Francois Patuel, West Africa campaigner for Amnesty International.
Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Loading comments… Trouble loading? Charge of 'aggravated homosexuality' for 'repeat offenders' and those with The Gambia's president, Yahya Jammeh, has said that gay and. Perfect, David, The Gambia under Yahya Jammeh: An Assessment, 12 March (url), pp.
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