Two women and one man faced court action in The Gambia on charges of homosexual behavior on April 11, two days after Gambian police arrested 18 men there for allegedly engaging in homosexual activities in a bar.
The Gambia Daily Observer website, which published a partial report about the latest events, said Faity Jobe and Awa Touray of Gambia “on the 5th April 2012 at Serrekunda [the largest city in The Gambia] and in diverse places were engaged in an indecent practice in a public place among themselves [and] thereby committed an offence.”
The Observer added that Ogika Amenechi of Nigeria “on the same date and place … was engaged in an indecent practice between him and other homosexuals [and] thereby committed an offence. They all pleaded not guilty.”
Principal Magistrate Sheriff Tabally, presiding in Kanifing Magistrates’ Court, granted bail over the objection of police prosecutor Chief Inspector Darboe. Darboe noted that the previous group of defendants facing the same charges were returned to jail pending further court action.
Defense counsel Badou Conteh said the defendants had been held in police custody for more than 72 hours. In arguing for bail, he said Faity Jobe is married with two children and Awa Touray works for a promotion company.
Bail was set at D100,000 ($3,367) and “two Gambian sureties.” A further hearing on the case was set for April 19, which is also the date for the next court hearing for the 18 men who were arrested on April 9.
Pink News reported:
The Gambia’s president Yahyeh Jammeh said earlier this year that homosexuality was a foreign cultural phenomenon, saying: “We know what human rights are. Human beings of the same sex cannot marry or date […] If you think it is human rights to destroy our culture, you are making a great mistake because if you are in the Gambia, you are in the wrong place then.” …
In 2008, Mr Jammeh vowed to introduce laws which were stricter than those in Iran, where gay acts between men are punishable by death. The Gambia is a mainly Muslim country.
The president retracted a threat to decapitate gays but said they would be driven out of their homes.
The year before he announced a “miracle cure” for HIV/AIDS.
Under Gambian law, homosexual activities are punishable by a 14-year prison term.
- 18 men in Gambia face homosexuality charges (76crimes.com)
- The Gambia must release four activists jailed for distributing anti-government T-shirts (appablog.wordpress.com)