No truth for Gambia’s queer people

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03/15/2019

Gambia is accounting for its past. Two years after the end of Yahya Jammeh’s brutal 23-year rule, the country’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission is under way. Its objective is to “promote healing and reconciliation” by creating an impartial record of the nature, causes and extent of violations and abuses of human rights committed during Jammeh’s time in office from July 1994 to January 2017. This objective, however, comes with a caveat.  The commission may create an impartial record, but it will be incomplete. In 2014, Jammeh celebrated the 20th anniversary of his rule by devoting a portion of his remarks to reiterate his opposition to LGBT rights. “We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively.”

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