15 Gambian Men Arrested For “Publicly Displaying Or Promoting Homosexual Activities”

Was there an unofficial gay bar in the outskirts of the Gambian capital? The AFP says that fifteen men “suspected of homosexuality” were arrested in a watering hole in the suburbs of Banjul yesterday:

The men, all Gambians except one Senegalese, were arrested late Monday when police raided a bar in a popular tourist area. Officers had received a tip of people “publicly displaying or promoting homosexual activities,” a senior police officer speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP.

“They will be charged accordingly after we have completed our investigations,” the police official said.

What exactly will these investigations entail? Logging in to their emails, Manhunt, and Grindr profiles?

The men face severe penalties: homosexuality is banned in Gambia and can be punished by up to 14 years in jail. Back in 2008, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh said gays should get out of the country or risk being decapitated, though he later rescinded the statement after widespread international outrage.

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  • Spike

    OMG,OMG,OMG, does Atlantis go to Gambia?!!?

    Houston Bill, where are you ??? Get on this, we can’t have more gays being persecuted
    while on Atlantis Cruises and docked in homophobic ports like Gambia. We must boycott

    WTF is Gamia, btw. From the above picture, its looks, err, hmm, lovely.

  • B

    Given a different Queerty article on the causes of homophobia, one might ask if Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has some sexual issues of his own to deal with.

    BTW, Re No 1: they are trying to encourage tourism. Check out http://www.visitthegambia.gm/ for a marketing blurb. What they provide to tourists is a lot better than what they provide for the locals. Obviously a tourist boycott would have an impact on them, with relatively little impact on the country’s impoverished population – about 70% of its labor force works in agriculture (e.g., traditional subsistence agriculture), which accounts for 30% of its GDP.

    source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gambia#Economy

    If you want some pictures of the place at its best, try

  • Houston Bill

    @Spike: I think the situation in Gambia is atrocious. It would be unfair to blame Atlantis for Gambia, as they have never travelled there, nor do they have any plans to do so.

    The most appropriate place for condemnation of this ongoing situation in Gambia, would be focusing on the largest tourism market for The Gambia, which is Sweden. And through its’ largest development partner, the United Kingdom. No worries, Spike, we will take care of contacting Danida (the Danish Foreign Aid Agency), the Swedish LGBT community, the UK Foreign Ministry, and the Commonwealth.

    The Gambia has been arresting persons for the ‘crime’ of being Gay for some time, along with its’ larger neighbor, Senegal. Several years ago, The Gambia arrested two Spanish tourists for a BS charge of trying to pick up a taxicab driver.

    The Gambian government is awful. They, along with Cameroon, are the worst offenders in Africa IMHO.

  • Spike

    @Houston Bill: Well in that case, shouldn’t Atlantis Cruises be commended for NOT including Gambia as a cruise destination??? Just checked the website, not a single cruise stopping in Gambia, time to call off the Atlantis Cruise boycott!!!

  • Houston Bill

    @Spike: No. They should be condemned for going to Russia, as well as dismissing the impact of the legislation there. But that’s off topic. There will plenty of chances for everyone to condemn Russia as all of the new arrests from laws Atlantis says will not be enforced continue to work their way through the Russian and European legal systems. And when they arrest Madonna or cancel her shows.

    But for this thread, back to Gambia. On to contacting the tour companies that do package trips to The Gambia, the UK FM, the Swedish FM, the Commonwealth, and US Aid.

  • Mark

    Spike quit being a drama queen. I don’t have plans on going to most of Africa or the middle east, or parts of the Carribean because they’re all against LGBT people and very dangerous and impoverished countries.

    That doesn’t mean that the people who live there who are LGBT should have to live their livers in fear of their government and because a lot of people there are homo p hobic and bi p hobic and will imprison and kill any man who is bisexual or gay or suspected of being bisexual or gay in those countries.

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