HRC urges Obama to take tough action against anti-gay Gambian leaders

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has joined 13 other human rights groups in urging the Obama Administration to take additional action against Gambian leaders following the regime’s ongoing crackdown and persecution of LGBT citizens.

Earlier this month, the President of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, said gay people “want to impose homosexuality on the globe, they are doomed”.

“The United States cannot turn a blind eye to the horrific human rights abuses being inflicted on Gambians by President Yahya Jammeh’s regime,” said Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global.  “As we speak, the lives of LGBT Gambians who have been arrested and secretly detained are at risk, and there are no indications that Jammeh’s brutal crackdown on LGBT people and others is slowing down.

“While removing The Gambia’s eligibility for the AGOA trade agreement was an important first step, we must increase the pressure on the Gambian government and send an even stronger message to the regime that the United States will hold them accountable for their actions.”

In December, the White House announced that it has suspended The Gambia’s eligibility for trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA).

Mr Jammeh has previously said that gay people are “vermin” and that homosexuality is one of the greatest threats facing humanity.

An attempted coup against Mr Jammeh’s government failed at the end of December.

Prior to that the President signed a new bill which calls for life imprisonment for people caught engaging in same-sex sexual activity.