Gambian Leader Pledges Violence Against Gay People

Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh is once again urging and promising violence against gay people in his country in the most lurid and horrifying terms. In remarks while touring the country, he said that if you are caught being gay there “no one will ever set eyes on you again.”

Yahya Jammeh, the virulently anti-gay dictator who has ruled the Gambia for the last decade made some of his most hateful comments on the country’s LGBT community last week.

“If you do it [in the Gambia] I will slit your throat,” he said according to a translation obtained by VICE News. “[I]f you are a man and want to marry another man in this country and we catch you, no one will ever set eyes on you again, and no white person can do anything about it.”

Jammeh gave the speech in Wolof before a crowd in the town of Farafeni while on a national agricultural tour.

This is not the first time the country’s enigmatic leader has expressed homophobic vitriol. In October, he railed against homosexuality as “satanic behavior.” That same month, Jammeh approved a law that allows for “aggravated homosexuality” to be punished with anywhere from 15 years to life in prison.

The law is seen by rights’ groups as vague and open-ended. Human Rights Watch said that it’s “sparked a witch-hunt” against LGBT people. Some of those taken into custody for being gay were told that they did not “confess” a device would be inserted into their anuses or vaginas to “test” their sexual orientation.

Africa is one of the front lines of the battle for gay rights in the world today. Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya, among other countries, have brutal and totalitarian laws to hunt down and punish gay people, often even putting them to death.

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  • John Pieret

    Religion leads people to be good to one another, right? RIGHT?

  • Modusoperandi

    Motto: “Progress, Peace, Prosperity” [fm wikipedia]

    Oddly, when translated into Mandinka, it’s pronounced as “This is why we can’t have nice things”. True story.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Is the general public saying, “That’s not fair,” or are they right behind the dictator and urging him on?

  • eoraptor

    And this is where theocracy leads us. I know the RWNJ favor this sort of thing. But, I really have a hard time believing that a majority, or even a significant minority, of Americans would buy into slaughtering gay people.

    Maybe I’m just an optimist?

  • Alverant

    Hey, it’s oppressing christians if you expect them to not to hurt gays, right Skydog7?


  • Alverant

    Sorry should be, theDukedog7.

  • colnago80

    Sounds like Egnorance’ kind of guy.

  • marcus

    “Enigmatic” I don’t think it means what you think it does. (I’m assuming you thought it meant “murderous bloodthirsty cretin.”)

  • azpaul3

    #3, grumpyoldfart,

    Of course he is supported, loved and cheered by all the Gambian people. Well, those that couldn’t get out of the country anyway.

  • llewelly

    I am blaming missionaries from countries like the USA.

  • StevoR

    @ ^ llewelly : I blame that homophobic evil dictator Yahya Jammeh. In part maybe the missionaries spread and encouraged that culture of hatred and yes, they are culpable for that aspect of this but ultimately the Gambian dictator chose to believe and accept their vile views and chose his own appallingly hateful words. Jammeh could’ve rejected their words and hatred if he’d so desired.

  • llewelly

    That is a good point, StevoR.

  • andrewbrown not the one from the grauniad

    I can’t help but wonder Jammeh is deliberately creating a scapegoat to distract attention from the graft and corruption in his administration. I’m reminded of the Iranian mufti who claimed an earthquake was caused by immodestly dressed women, which made a convenient distraction from Iran’s shoddy construction standards (again in large part due to corruption) which meant the first tremor flattened buildings. It’s such an old political trick, but it still works so power hungry demagogues keep using it.

  • StevoR

    @ ^ andrewbrown not the one from the grauniad : Yep, that wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest either.