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Human Rights Groups Urge Gambian President To Reject Bill Imposing Life Imprisonment For Gays

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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.

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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