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Gambia president will cut off gay’s head

Yahya Jammeh, the President of the Gambia, has said those who think gay rights are human rights in the African state are making a “great mistake”.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

16th February 2012 16:47

Alessia Valenza

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh on Tuesday reiterated his stance that he would never accept homosexuality in his country, after recent pressure from abroad on African states to respect gay rights.

"We know what human rights are. Human beings of the same sex cannot marry or date," Jammeh said while swearing in 15 ministers of his new government.

"If you think it is human rights to destroy our culture, you are making a great mistake because if you are in the Gambia, you are in the wrong place then," he added.

In 2008, Jammeh gave an ultimatum to homosexuals to leave the country and vowed to "cut off the head" of any homosexual found in the Gambia.

In the west African nation homosexuality is punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment, for men and women. Jammeh has threatened to introduce even stricter laws.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently told leaders at an African Union summit they must respect gay rights.

"If we Africans are to build our societies based on outside dictates and structure, our cultures based on alien cultures, we will be the losers," said Jammeh.

- AFP