LGBT Advocate remarks on the devastation in the wake of failed Gambian trial

UK/Global Human and LGBTQ Rights Advocate Omar Kuddus remarks on the aftermath of the curtailed Gambian homosexual trial
 
 
KUDDUS:  Devastation in wake of failed trial
KUDDUS: Devastation in wake of failed trial
 
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Aug. 1, 2012 - PRLog -- Omar Kuddus ,  a British national and globally renowned gay and human rights advocate,  spoke to a New York City press agent about his perspective on the recently aborted homosexual trial in Gambia.

Mr. Kuddus' remarks are as follows:

"It would seem  that the “homo” trial in Gambia has taken a dramatic turn.

The alleged homosexual trial against 18 accused persons charged with indecent acts has come to an end today [1st August 2012] when the Prosecution informed the court that there was insufficient evidence for the state to continue with the case.

Everyone that was being prosecuted has stated that they are “very happy today”. “We are free from the case”.

But although the case is technically finished,   I have been informed that this will not be reported In Gambia.  "

Stigmatized for Life:  A Devastating Aftermath

"Moreover,  the defendants still have the stigma of being "outed" as homosexual, having had their photographs published along with their names.

This has led to retribution from the general public and also from some of the defendant’s family who feel that they have dishonoured them.

In addition,  as homosexuality is not tolerated in Gambia,  I been informed that there has been verbal abuse and shunning of the defendants.  Some have been even called gorr jigeen [which is a derogative term for homosexuals in Gambia] and been referred to as prostitutes.

Though the “trial has ended” with relief at the outcome their situation is dire:  Having  been publicly "marked", life can never be the same for them in Gambia.


In fact one of the defendants' parents  -  despite knowing that he is gay   -  are now trying to force him to get married to a woman to try and restore family honour and show that he has repented his actions, which naturally is unacceptable to him .  He feels that he shall “have to leave Gambia” because of this and the publicity of the trail.

In a previous court hearing two police officers had said that when they had raided the Duplex Night Club they had seen the accused “wearing female clothes with hand bags on them walking like ladies”. “Female dress as tight at the chest and wide at the bottom”, which had been denied by all the defendants and I have been assured that no one was dressed in drag.  

The police officer had revealed that at the venue they recovered seven bags and three digital cameras .He added that 41 pictures were received and two from one of the suspects by the name Ebsin which makes it 43 pictures.

Regarding these 43 pictures which were central to the case:

I have been informed were not all from that night but being  from the club owner’s camera,   were taken on  different nights.

There is further evidence that Gambia is still trying to discredit the defendants as a report in Jellowfnews { http://jollofnews.com/20120801gambian-court-frees-alleged...} that states five witnesses testified for the prosecution when in fact there were only two.

This case shows that even when unsuccessful, the damage caused by such actions can have devastating impacts on the accused’s life and that regardless of success or not the desired effects are achieved by the state.  The fall-out is nearly as bad as if there had been a verdict of guilty.

This trial is but the continuation of the persecution of LGBTs in Gambia which shows its defiant stance on Homosexuality and its desire to become the Iran of Africa, superseding anti-gay laws of its neighbouring African states, including Uganda and Liberia.

The plight of Gambian LGBT’s is becoming precarious and Gambia is taking a similar stance on Homosexuality as other African states, and putting the safety and lives of African LGBT’s in danger.

For all this,  the western world and its governments stand by and do nothing in regards to the plight of African LGBT’s and the violation of their basic human rights."
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