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Gambian Court Frees Alleged Homosexuals

in GAMBIA, 02/08/2012

A court in Gambia has this morning acquitted and discharged 18 men and two women at the centre of a controversial case of homosexuality.

The alleged homosexuals were given back their freedom after the court accepted a motion filed by the director of Public Prosecution, SH Barkun, to drop the charges levelled against them.

The accused persons were arrested in April by police at Kololi village some 18 kilometres of the Gambian capital, Banjul and charged with committing unnatural acts and conspiracy to commit felony contrary to the laws of the Gambia.

All accused persons pleaded not guilty and after months of successive hearings during which five witnesses testified for the prosecution, the DPP today told the court that he was discontinuing the case.

Lawyer Badou Conteh, who was representing some of the accused persons, made no objections to the motion which was granted by the presiding Magistrate, Sheriff Tabally.

“We are grateful that the prosecution has finally realised that they have no case in court,” Lawyer Conteh told JollofNews.

Homosexuality in the Muslim dominated country is regarded as a taboo and the country’s president, Yahya Jammeh recently told his ministers that he will never allow gays and lesbians in the country.

The president described homosexuality as an abomination and an alien norm that is being imposed on Africans by the West in the name of freedom and rights.

He said while he remains president, Gambians will live and behave according to Gambian and African cultural norms and nurture faith in the supremacy of God.

“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. But if they think they can sit there and dictate us how we should live, the Gambia will be the exception,” President Jammeh said.

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