Human rights campaigners are calling for Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to reject proposals by lawmakers to introduce a punishment of life in prison for “aggravated homosexuality”.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said in a joint statement that a bill passed by parliament on August 25 could be used to target “repeat offenders” and people living with HIV.
“President Jammeh should not approve this profoundly damaging act that violates international human rights law,” said Stephen Cockburn, Amnesty’s deputy regional director for west and central Africa.
“Gambia’s national assembly and the president should not endorse state-sponsored homophobia.”
Mr Jammeh, a former military officer who seized power in a 1994 coup, brooks no dissent in a country often blasted by rights bodies for abuses and homophobia.
He has repeatedly denounced homosexuality and once vowed to behead gays, although he later retracted the threat.
Last year, Mr Jammeh told the United Nations General Assembly 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 said.
Under current law, same-sex relationships are already punishable by up to 14 years in jail in Gambia.
In 2012, 15 men were arrested in a popular bar and charged with “indecent practices in a public place,” a euphemism for homosexual acts.
The president has two weeks to sign the proposals into law or return them for further review.
US Election: Trump Claims Victory Hours After Saying Biden Won
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has declared himself the winner of the US Election 2020.
President Trump declared himself the winner of the US election in a tweet on Monday morning, November 16 by simply tweeting: “I won the election.”
I WON THE ELECTION!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2020
This came hours after he tweeted that his opponent Joe Biden “won because the election was rigged.”
He won because the Election was Rigged. NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more! https://t.co/Exb3C1mAPg
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2020
The latest vote tallies project Democratic candidate, Biden a clear winner in the state-by-state Electoral College that decides the presidency, with 306 votes against Trump’s 232.
However, President Trump has remained defiant, continuously claiming he won the election free and fair.
Former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings Is Dead
Jerry Rawlings, a former Ghanaian president has reportedly died from suspected COVID-19 complications.
The former Ghanaian leader died at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, capital of Ghana on Thursday morning.
Rawlings led the country first as a military ruler and then as a democratically elected president between 1981 and 2001.
Rawlings initially rose to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant in the Ghana Air Force, following a coup détat in 1979.
After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took control again in December 1981 as Head of State.
He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.
Rawlings left office in 2000 after exhausting Ghana’s constitutional term-limit of eight years for Presidents.
US Election Is Far From Over — Trump
Shortly after Biden was projected winner, Trump in a defiant statement expressed that the election was “far from over” and criticised Biden for “rushing to falsely pose as the winner.”
“Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.
“Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.
“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.
“The American people are entitled to an honest election, that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots,” Trump said.
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