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US slam Gambian president for threat to slit gay men's throats

US National Security Advisor warns of the United States taking further action over 'unconscionable' comments

US slam Gambian president for threat to slit gay men's throats

The United States have slammed Gambia’s president for his unconscionable comments on gay men in his country.

According to the Human Rights Campain, Yahya Jammeh said he would slit the throats of men wanting to marry men in a public speech; a speech he gave last year also drew criticism from rights groups when the president called homosexuals ‘ungodly’ and ‘vermin’.

Susan Rice, the US National Security Advisor, did not quote Jammeh but called his comments part of an ‘alarming deterioration of the broader human rights situation’ in Gambia.

She said: ‘The recent unconscionable comments by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh underscore why we must continue to seek a world in which no one lives in fear of violence or persecution because of who they are or whom they love.‘

According to Rice, the US are ‘concerned’ about rights violation in Gambia and ‘credible reports’ of torture, ‘arbitrary detention at the government’s hands’ and missing US citizens.

Following reports on a crackdown against the country’s LGBTI community, the US revoked trade preferences with Gambia last year; Rice warned of the US taking additional action to respond to the situation.

‘We repeat our call for the Gambian government, and all governments, to lead inclusively, repudiate intolerance, and promote respect for the universal rights and fundamental freedoms of all people,’ she said in a statement.

Homosexuality is illegal in Gambia; in October, Jammeh created the crime of ‘aggravated homosexuality’, for which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment.

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