The United States has criticized Gambian President Yahya Jammeh on Saturday for “unconscionable” remarks, after he reportedly threatened to slit the throats of gay men in his country.
Jammeh made homosexuality illegal in Gambia and said he would slit the throats of men who wanted to marry other men in Gambia.
US National Security Advisor Susan Rice said the comments were part of an “alarming deterioration of the broader human rights situation” in Gambia. “The recent unconscionable comments by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh underscore why we must continue to seek a world in which no one lives in fear of violence or persecution because of who they are or whom they love,” Rice said in a statement.
Rice said the United States is concerned about reports of broader rights violations in the country, including allegations of missing US citizens.
“We are deeply concerned about credible reports of torture, suspicious disappearances, including of two American citizens — and arbitrary detention at the government’s hands,” Rice said.
Rice warned the US could take action. It revoked trade preferences with Gambia last year following reports of a crackdown against the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
“We are reviewing what additional actions are appropriate to respond to this worsening situation,” Rice said. “We repeat our call for the Gambian government, and all governments, to lead inclusively, repudiate intolerance, and promote respect for the universal rights and fundamental freedoms of all people.”