- Yahya Jammeh made the threat during speech on safeguarding the young
- Said ‘white people’ cannot stop him – likely referring to Europe and the US
- West cut almost £10million of aid to Gambia last year over anti-gay laws
- Jammeh previously called gays vermin and threatened to behead them
Gambia’s president has said he will personally slit the throats of homosexuals in his country before adding that ‘no white person can do anything about it’ – likely referring to Western leaders.
President Yahya Jammeh, who has a history of outspoken comments against gay people, made the threats during a public speech during an agricultural tour around his African nation last week.
The 49-year-old, who has ruled the country since a coup in 1994, made the comments in the town of Farafeni while talking about how to create a stable environment for the country’s youth.
According to Vice News, he said: ‘If you do it [in the Gambia] I will slit your throat — if 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.’
The reference to ‘white people’ is likely aimed at the European Union and America, who cut almost £10million of aid to the tiny country in December last year due to its poor human rights record.
However, Gambia’s population is 90 per cent Muslim, and the country is still thought to get significant aid from Middle Eastern countries.
Homosexuality has long been punished in Gambia with a 14-year prison sentence, but last November Jammeh signed a new bill into law increasing this to life imprisonment for acts of ‘aggravated homosexuality’.
According to Amnesty International, there have since been seven arrests under the new anti-gay legislation and reports of police breaking down suspects’ door and threatening them with death.
Jammeh, who took power in Gambia at the age of 29 in a largely bloodless coup, has previously threaten to behead gay people in a speech in 2008.
In 2013 he asked parliament why he had never seen ‘a gay chicken or turkey’, and in 2014 he compared homosexuals to ‘vermin’.
In January this year he accused the U.S. of spearheading an evil homosexual empire, warning that ‘this evil empire of homosexuals will also go down the dirty drain and garbage of hell’.
Homosexuality is illegal in the majority of African countries, with nations such as Sudan and Mauritania enforcing the death penalty on those caught breaching it.
A few countries, such as Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Namibia permit female homosexuality, but outlaw male relationships, while around 15 nations have no law specifically forbidding it.
In total, only eight African nations have laws which specifically permit, or protect people’s right to have a homosexual relationship.
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