President Yahya Jammeh
The notoriously homophobic president of Gambia launched a scathing attack against gay and lesbian people on Friday.
Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly, President Yahya Jammeh said that the biggest threats facing the world were homosexuality, greed and obsession with world domination and that these “are more deadly than all natural disasters put together”.
Jammeh ranted that “Those who promote homosexuality want to put an end to human existence. It is becoming an epidemic and we Muslims and Africans will fight to end this behaviour”.
He went on to say that “Homosexuality in all its forms and manifestations which, though very evil, antihuman as well as anti-Allah, is being promoted as a human right by some powers.”
Andre Banks, executive director of LGBT activist website All Out, described Jammeh’s remarks as “paranoid and disturbing”.
“In his list of the world’s greatest threats, the President left one out – intolerance,” Banks added.
Earlier this year, Jammeh was named by Human Rights Watch as a candidate for its annual LGBT “Hall of Shame”.
In 2008, Jammeh – who has been president of Gambia since 1996 – infamously gave gays and lesbians 24 hours to leave the country or face having their heads cut off.
He has claimed that homosexuality is “anti-God, anti-human, and anti-civilisation”. At the opening of the Gambian Parliament in Banjul in March, Jammeh warned LGBT people in Gambia: “Homosexuals are not welcome in the Gambia. If we catch you, you will regret why you are born.”
The crackpot president has also previously claimed to be able cure HIV/AIDS with natural herbs and has been accused of numerous human rights abuses and of restricting freedom of the press.
Under British colonial era laws, homosexuality is illegal in Gambia and those found guilty of “unnatural offenses” face up to 14 years in prison.