Gambians struggle to get refugee Status in Senegal
By Melanie Nathan, Dec 23, 2014
The Gambian authorities have arrested three men, accused of committing homosexual acts.
The Gambian authorities have been conducting door-to-door witch hunts seeking out gays or responding to suspicious neighbors for several months.
The men if found guilty can receive a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, under the new law signed into effect by President Yahya Jammeh in October.
As the men were displayed on local TV, officials noted: “We go around in search of suspected individuals and in the course of the investigations we arrested the men and they have confessed that they have engaged in these inhuman acts.”
The Gambian President has recently invoked anti-gay rhetoric, suggesting all gays should be decapitated, several fearful Gambians have been working with us at the U.S. based, African HRC, since escaping the the country, while others have made contact, desperate and fearful that they may be arrested or killed.
“The European Union said this month it has withdrawn millions of euros of funding from Gambia, an announcement that came as the mainly Muslim West African nation looks more to the Middle East for support.” (Reuters)
At this time, the security agency is calling on the citizens of The Gambia to help stamp out homosexuality.
As things get worse for gays and LGBTI Gambians, several men have crossed over into Senegal over this past year and have been struggling to get recognized there as refugees. The Committee for Refugees in Dakar, Senegal has failed to do its job, and keep telling people to come back, interview after interview, month after month , without recognizing their status. Some Gambians have just given up and are now caught in a quagmire – not knowing where to go or how to survive. This has disrupted the UNHCR’s ability to process and possibly take on these cases for mandate and resettlement. African HRC is issuing a detailed report on this situation in January.
PLEASE support fundraiser for gays for The Gambia: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/lgbt-africa-relief-fund-4–2