The petition reads: “It is not too late for the United States to send President Jammeh and his regime a clear and unequivocal message: human rights violations will not be tolerated and the US government will respond with actions, as well as with strong condemnation. It is crucial that the United States take concrete action whenever countries enact discriminatory laws, and The Gambia should be no exception.”
The Gambia in September passed into law a bill imposing life imprisonment for some homosexual acts. In December, the NIA confirmed the detention of three suspected gays, who have been under their custody since November.
The rights groups further called on Obama to demand from Gambian authorities information about the health and safety of suspected gays being detained.
“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 Human Rights Campaign, a signee.
He added: “As we speak, the lives of LGBT Gambians who have been arrested and secretly detained are at risk…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.”]]>