This is only a preview of unpublished case!
Homosexuals face life imprisonment in Gambia
Gambia, action created 1.12.2014, petition is active
On October 9, 2014, Gambia introduced a controversial amendment to their Criminal Code: the offence of "aggravated homosexuality" can now lead to either punishment or life imprisonment. In the last two weeks, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and other presidential guards arrested four men, one boy, and three women based on "suspected" homosexuality. These individuals were physically abused, threatened by rape, and subjected to sensory deprivation. Their detention is in violation of international conventions on human rights.
Between 7 and 13 November 2014, in Senegambia, a strait in the coastal area south of the capital city Banjul, five men and three women were arrested. The group was held and investigated in the NIA base in Banjul, under the suspicion of homosexuality. Detainees were subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment, which aimed to force a confession for their "crimes". At the same time they were forced to divulge information about other people who might be homosexual.
These individuals were physically abused, subjected to sensory deprivation, and threatened with rape. They were also told that if they did not confess, the guards would inject a tool for "discovering" the person's sexual orientation by inserting it into his/her vagina or anus. Although the three female detainees released on November 13, the investigation is still ongoing. The NIA confiscated their identity cards and ordered them not to leave the country. The remaining men are still being held in complete isolation.
Another six women were held under the suspicion of homosexuality between 18 and 19 November. All those who were accused had their life threatened. According to information obtained by Amnesty International about the amendment to the Penal Code, not only homosexuals, but people suspected of homosexuality or HIV positive people could be arrested.
The Gambian authorities have repeatedly spoken against the rights of the LGBT community. In October, President Jammeh had said that homosexuality reflects "satanic behavior." A month earlier, a representative of the governing party said in a newspaper interview that "homosexuals should be exterminated because they are the enemies of humanity."
Oppression of people solely on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identification is a violation of groundbreaking resolutions of the African Commission on human rights. These resolutions condemn the persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersexual people by both governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Amnesty International considers people detained solely on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identification as prisoners of conscience. Their detention is in violation of international conventions on human rights.