Gambia Rejects US Criticism on GLBT Rights Record, Expels EU Ambassador

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Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has rebuffed criticism from both the United States and the European Union on the African nation’s GLBT rights record.

In a statement from the Gambian President Yahya Jammeh read out on state run television, the Gambian  government has claimed it has a right to discriminate against GLBT people.

Jammeh rejected rebuffed criticism from United States National Security Advisor Susan Rice in which she said that “the rejection of gay and lesbian activities by the Gambia as a violation of human rights.”

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The statement from Jammeh’s office said the accusations by the U.S. government were a systematic campaign aimed at denting the image of Gambia and demonising its leadership because of its stance against homosexuality.

“The government of the Gambia wishes to observe that the accusations made are the latest in a systematic campaign to damage the good image of the country and demonize its leadership because of its stance against the activities of the gay and lesbian community,” reads the statement from the Gambian government. “No amount of lies, pressure or threats will make us relent on our rejection of homosexuality.” “The government of the Gambia will always adhere to our sacred religious values and will not be dictated by decadent and ungodly societies, nations or institutions,” it says.

“The Government reminds all that homosexuality is totally against the religious, cultural and traditional values of the Gambia and would thus not be tolerated,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Gambian leader has expelled the European Union’s ambassador, in what is believed to be in retaliation for the EU cutting off aid to the African nation.

The European Union blocked some 13 million euros in aid to Gambia in 2014 because of its poor human rights record, in particular anti-homosexual laws, and is still debating whether to release some 150 million euros in aid this year.

 Article | Levi Joule

 

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