President Yahya Jammeh

The persecution of gay people in Africa continues as Gambian police arrest 15 men “suspected of homosexuality” at a bar in the capital city Banjul.

Police sources told AFP on Tuesday that all the men are Gambian except one, who is believed to be Senegalese.

They were arrested in a raid on the bar after complaints of people “publicly displaying or promoting homosexual activities”.

In February, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh said that he would never accept the “evil” of homosexuality in his country as long as he is president.

“It’s not in the Bible or Quran. It’s an abomination. I am telling you this because the new wave of evil that they want to impose on us will not be accepted in this country,” he said.

In 2008, Jammeh – who has been president since 1996 – gave gays and lesbians 24 hours to leave the country or threatened to have their heads cut off.

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.

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