Further information: LGBT rights in the Gambia
On 15 May 2008, Jammeh announced that his government would introduce legislation that would set laws against homosexuals that would be “stricter than those in Iran”, and that he would “cut off the head” of any gay or lesbian person discovered in the country. News reports indicated his government intended to execute all homosexuals in the country. In a speech given in Tallinding, Jammeh gave a “final ultimatum” to any gays or lesbians in the Gambia, warning them to leave the country.
In a speech to the United Nations on 27 September 2013, Jammeh said
Homosexuality in all its forms and manifestations which, though very evil, anti-human as well as anti-Allah, is being promoted as a human right by some powers,” who “want to put an end to human existence.”
On 18 February 2014, Jammeh called homosexuals “vermins” by saying that
“We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively”. He also went on to disparage the LGBT by saying that “As far as I am concerned, LGBT can only stand for Leprosy, Gonorrhoea, Bacteria and Tuberculosis, all of which are detrimental to human existence”.
In May 2015, in defiance of western criticism Jammeh intensified his anti-gay rhetoric, telling a crowd during an agricultural tour: “If you do it [in the Gambia] I will slit your throat – if you are a man and want to marry another man in this country and we catch you, no one will ever set eyes on you again, and no white person can do anything about it.”
This prompted a fresh round of condemnation from international human rights leaders. US National Security Advisor Susan Rice released a statement of condemnation on 16 May 2015: “We condemn his comments, and note these threats come amid an alarming deterioration of the broader human rights situation in The Gambia,” said Rice. “We are deeply concerned about credible reports of torture, suspicious disappearances – including of two American citizens – and arbitrary detention at the government’s hands.”
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