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Monday, March 1, 2021

Has Jammeh signed anti-gay bill into law?

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According to the report, a copy of the legislation, obtained by the Associated Press on Friday, indicated that President Jammeh signed it on 9 October, though no government public notice has been issued on the matter. 

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Politicians approved the legislation in August, prompting an outcry from human rights organisations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The law contains language identical to an anti-gay bill signed into law in Uganda earlier this year but later overturned by a court on procedural grounds.

The Gambian law criminalises “aggravated homosexuality”, and targets “serial offenders” and people living with HIV or Aids. Suspects can be charged with aggravated homosexuality for engaging in homosexual acts with someone who is under 18, disabled or who has been drugged. The term also applies when the suspect is the parent or guardian of the other person, or is “in authority over” him or her.

People found guilty of aggravated homosexuality can be sentenced to life in prison.

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