An African President who had claimed he would slit the throats of gay people has lost his presidency after a national election this week.
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh lost the National poll this week 45.5% to 36.7% and in a surprise has admitted defeat and has promised to hand over power to the victor, opposition leader Adama Barrow.
Jammeh has held Gambia since 1994 and in that time promoted the view that homosexuality is being pushed onto Africa by the West.
In May last year, Jammeh said he would “slit the throats” of gay Gambians – the most recent slur in a long history of anti-gay comments.
He’s repeatedly attacked LGBT people as “vermin” and asserted that the “evil empire of homosexuals will also go down the dirty drain and garbage of hell…” In 2008, Jammeh infamously gave gays and lesbians 24 hours to leave the country or face having their heads cut off.
In October 2014, he signed an anti-gay law that created the crime of “aggravated homosexuality”, which carries punishment of up to life in prison. Homosexuality was already illegal in The Gambia under British colonial era laws and those found guilty of “unnatural offences” face up to 14 years in prison.
The new law was followed by the reported arrest, detention and torture of a number of people on suspicion of homosexuality by the country’s National Intelligence Agency, which was condemned by human rights groups.
While it’s unclear what the incoming president’s view on LGBT rights are, Barrow has promised to “promote and consolidate Democracy, Rule of Law, Good Governance and respect for the Human Rights of our people”.
Speaking on television, Jammeh confirmed that Barrow had won a “clear victory”, adding: “I wish him all the best and I wish all Gambians the best.”
Last Updated on Dec 5, 2016