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White House denounces Gambia 'rights abuses'

05 december 2014, 14:34

 The White House denounced Thursday human rights violations in Gambia, calling on the government to allow UN experts into the country and revoke laws discriminating against homosexuals, AFP reports.

"The United States is deeply concerned by continued reports of human rights abuses in the Gambia," said Bernadette Meehan, National Security Council spokeswoman.

"Since October, the government of the Gambia has denied access to UN Special Rapporteurs investigating reports of torture and extrajudicial execution," Meehan said in a statement.

Meehan also noted that Gambia has arrested people over their sexual orientation and enacted a law that imposes up to life imprisonment for the "so-called crime of 'aggravated homosexuality.'"

Homosexuality is prohibited in Gambia despite calls from the international community.

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh enacted a law in October creating the crime of "aggravated homosexuality," which international bodies are concerned targets people with HIV or those who are openly homosexual.

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