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REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA:
STOP GAMBIA’S HOMOPHOBIC BILL

Update info:
6 Oct 2014
Country:
REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA
Subject:
Period:
24 Oct 2014
Distribution date:
6 Oct 2014
UA No:
226/2014

The Gambian President is currently reviewing a proposed amendment to the Criminal Code which will further discriminate against and punish Gambians merely on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation.

On 25 August Gambia’s National Assembly passed the Bill for the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act 2014, which introduces the criminal offence of “aggravated homosexuality”, with a sentence on conviction of life imprisonment. Among those who could be charged with “aggravated homosexuality” are people living with HIV who are suspected to be gay or lesbian, or people described in the Bill as “serial offenders”. There are serious concerns that the term “serial offender”, which is not defined in the Bill, will be used against individuals who have previously been charged or convicted because of their real or perceived sexual orientation.

Other provisions of the Criminal Code amendment also run counter to Gambia’s international human rights obligations. A new charge relating to "absconding state officials" could be used to target individuals who express dissent and flee the country. It will be punishable by a fine of up to 500,000 Dalasi (approx. US$12,700) and five years in prison. President Yahya Jammeh has 30 days to review the proposed legislation before assenting to it or returning it to the National Assembly for further review. If President Jammeh assents to the Bill, it will become an Act of the National Assembly and will be enforceable upon its publication.

Take action

Please write immediately in English or your own language:

  • Calling on President Yahya Jammeh to reject provisions in the proposed Criminal Code on aggravated homosexuality and absconding state officials;
  • Calling on the President Yahya Jammeh to repeal provisions in the Criminal Code which criminalize consensual same-sex sexual conduct;
  • Reminding President Yahya Jammeh of the the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights resolution on the Protection against Violence and other Human Rights Violations against Persons on the basis of their real or imputed Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity;
  • Urging President Yahya Jammeh to promote human rights for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and to refrain from making threatening, intimidating, or discriminatory remarks against LGBTI persons.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 24 OCTOBER TO:
President of the Republic
Yahya Jammeh
Private Mail Bag
State House,
Banjul, The Gambia
Email: info@statehouse.gm
Salutation: Your Excellency