THE dictator of the tiny African nation of Gambia has grabbed headlines for the wrong reasons again, after it was reported he threatened to “slit” the throats of gay men if they were caught.
President Yahya Jammeh’s (pictured above) latest blatantly homophobic remarks were made last week in a speech he presented at a rally in the town of Farafeni.
“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.”
It’s not the first time that Jammeh, who leads a country of 1.8 million people on the west coast of Africa, has made his notoriously homophobic views public.
Last year, the European Union cut aid to Gambia over its negative human rights record, which included the introduction of an anti-homosexuality law in October that could lead to life sentences in prison.
According to Reuters and Agence France-Presse, Gambians are among the people fleeing the African continent for Europe in what has become known as the “Mediterranean migrant crisis”.
Meanwhile on the other side of the continent, a Kenyan newspaper put the lives of 12 LGBTI people in jeapordy after it “outed” them on the front page.
Of the activists and leaders who were exposed on the May 11 edition of Weekly Citizen, some are already publicly known as spokespeople for the country’s LGBTI community, while several others were previously in the closet — including a senator and a gospel singer.
The headline reads “Top Gays, Lesbians List in Kenya Out”, and while it does not call for violence or murder, activists told GayStarNews they feared it would do just that — similar to when Ugandan activist David Kato was killed as a result of being exposed on the front page of a tabloid publication in 2010.
While it is against the law to be gay in Kenya, a recent decision by the country’s high court has ordered the government to allow a gay rights group to register after they initially refused it.