Gambia Passes Anti-Gay Bill – Life Sentences For Some Same-Sex Acts

The Gambian National Assembly has passed a bill imposing life sentences for “some” homosexual acts. On Monday, Minority leader Samba Jallow said the bill brings life sentences for “aggravated homosexuality.”

The Associated Press is reporting that a draft of the controversial bill contains language identical to another anti-gay bill signed into law in Uganda earlier this year. It defines “aggravated homosexuality” as acts perpetrated by “serial offenders” and people living with HIV/AIDS.

National Assembly Speaker Abdoulie Bojang confirmed the bill designed to amend the country’s criminal code was passed last month but would not comment as to whether or not there had been changes to the draft.

Amnesty International says the bill, if signed by President Yahya Jammeh, would add to “the climate of fear” facing Gambia’s sexual minorities, who can already be imprisoned for up to 14 years upon being found guilty.

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