The Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh
The Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has said that he will fire gay and lesbian soldiers serving in that country’s military, reports Behind the Mask.
Jammeh made the threat at a function for newly promoted army chiefs in the predominantly Muslim nation.
“We will not encourage lesbianism and homosexuality in the military. It is a taboo in our armed forces. I will sack any soldier suspected of being a gay, or lesbian in The Gambia. We need no gays in our armed forces,” Jammeh said.
In May 2008, it was reported that Jammeh vowed, in another speech, to “cut off the head” of homosexuals caught in The Gambia and demanded that they leave the country within 24 hours.
The government later denied that Jammeh had called for the decapitation of gays and lesbians. Jammeh has previously publicly attacked homosexuality as unnatural and supports Islamic Sharia law which imposes harsh penalties on gays and lesbians, including execution.
In 2007, Jammeh claimed to be able cure HIV/AIDS as well as asthma with natural herbs.
Article 144 of The Gambia’s 1965 Criminal Code criminalises homosexual conduct as an “unnatural offence” and provides for a prison sentence of up to 14 years.