Gambia’s president Yahya Jammeh’s latest attack on gay people

Yahya Jammeh, the President of the Republic of the Gambia, is back on the rampage against homosexuals in his country this time condemning gay adoptions.

During his most recent statements made during last Saturday’s state opening of Parliament in the capital Banjul the president said, “We will uphold our cultural values to the high heights. You are a man and you married a man and yet you want to adopt someone’s’ child. We will not tolerate this act of life in this country.”

Speaking in crude terms he added “We will not lock homosexuals in one cell, but one to a cell and if you want, you can do it with the wall.”

This latest attack on the gay community come less than two weeks after 18 people, including Gambians, Senegalese and Nigerians were arrested and charged with indecent practices after being “suspected of homosexuality” and according to the charge sheet “Conspiring to engage in an indecent act contrary to the laws of the Gambia.”

Same-sex sexual relationships are punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment in the Gambia.

This arrest was reportedly carried out at a birthday event of one of the accused persons on April 10, at a popular bar. Those arrested were charged with “indecent practices in a public place”, a euphemism for same-sex relationships.

Last week Thursday, the office of the Gambia’s Attorney General took over the case of the 18 alleged homosexuals.

Following an application filed by the Deputy Director of Public Prosecution (DDPP) SH Barkun – together with Ramatoulie Jawara and S. Sankareh from the AG chambers, the matter was adjourned to allow the new prosecuting team to study the case. The presiding Magistrate – Principal Magistrate Sheriff Tabally of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court granted the DDP’s application.

The case was adjourned to 2pm on May 8, 2012.

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