News (USA)

White House admonishes Gambia over human rights abuses

White House admonishes Gambia over human rights abuses

WASHINGTON — The White House is admonishing Gambia for human rights abuses and says it’s deeply concerned by the government’s failure to protect citizens.

White-HouseWhite House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan says Gambia’s government won’t let a U.N. investigator probe reports of torture and detention of people based on their sexual orientation or political views.

She’s citing Gambia’s new law that punishes some homosexual acts with life in prison.

Meehan says the U.S. is also concerned that senior Gambian officials keep calling for gays to be persecuted. She says Gambia has failed to investigate the disappearance of two Americans in 2013.

The new law went into effect in October and criminalizes “aggravated homosexuality,” which targets “serial offenders” and people living with HIV or AIDS.

Gambia has bristled at Western criticism of the law.

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