We have been watching with alarm as African nations pass more draconian anti-homosexual laws. Senegal has added its name to his ignoble list. President Yahya Jammeh signed a new law that establishes life imprisonment for some homosexual acts. Jammeh is a vehemently and vocal anti-gay leader who told gays and lesbians in 2008 to leave the country or risk decapitation. Five women have now been arrested as accused lesbians in what human rights groups are calling a national campaign of terror and torture by the police.
The law criminalizes what it calls “aggravated homosexuality,” involving “serial offenders” and people living with HIV or AIDS. The law lumps such “repeat offenders” who engage in homosexual relations with people who engage in homosexual acts with someone who is under 18, disabled or who has been drugged or is under the “authority” of the homosexual. The accused face life in prison.
Amnesty International has charged that people are being tortured by police and forced to confess to homosexual acts or to accuse others of such acts.
Gays couples have reportedly fled the nation.