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Gambia Dropped From African Free Trade Agreement Over Anti-LGBT Abuses

Gambia

 

 

Via Buzzfeed:

The United States on Tuesday dropped the Gambia from a popular free trade agreement in response to a crackdown on LGBT rights and other human rights concerns. The decision to drop the small West African nation from special trade status under the African Growth and Opportunity Act of 2000 came late Tuesday afternoon, just after media in the Gambia announced that three men would be put on trial for homosexuality. These are the first to face trial since police began arresting people on allegations of homosexuality in November. At least 16 more are known to be in detention, and Gambian human rights activists do not know if they are even still alive. The move comes after Gambian human rights activists were able to secure their first meetings with high-ranking U.S. officials after years of unsuccessfully trying to get the State Department to respond to the abysmal human rights during President Yahya Jammeh’s 20 years in power. The meeting coincided with a petition drive launched by the largest American LGBT organization, the Human Rights Campaign, calling on the Obama administration to “take swift action against President Jammeh for his intolerable actions.”

Jammeh has been quoted as saying that no amount of foreign aid will bring LGBT rights to Gambia and has threatened to decapitate “any homosexuals found” in the country.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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