This picture taken on January 12, 2012 shows a gay couple, who wish to remain anonymous, who fled deadly persecution in their home country due to their sexual-orientation, during an interview in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are increasingly fleeing across international borders in the East African region came to this urban jungle [Nairobi] seeking anonymity, explained an official running a programme that takes care of such refugees. Some have fled a strict application of Islamic law in Somalia, others are running from general sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and yet others have fled a climate of growing hostility elsewhere in east Africa The official who requested anonimity cites the new anti-homosexuality bill in neighbouring Uganda that touched off a wave of homophobia in neighbouring Uganda as an example of an increasing incidence of openly hostile environment for 'LGBT individuals'. AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA

By Lamin Njie

The National Human Rights Commission has called on the Gambia government to take legal and other measures to protect the human rights and equal treatment of LGBT persons in The Gambia.

The commission in its report submitted to the national assembly standing committee human rights and constitutional matters on Friday has also urged the government to deepen efforts to combat acts of discrimination and violence against LGBT persons as well as create a culture of tolerance for diversity and differences.

“As the primary duty bearer for the respect and protection of the human rights of all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, tribe, sex, religious or other status, the state has the obligation to fight impunity, discrimination, violence, bullying and human rights violation perpetrated against every person living in The Gambia, including the LGBT community. It also should create the environment for everyone to enjoy his or her rights and to protect members of the LGBT community from physical or psychological harm, injury or abuse by other sections of the society,” the NHRC said in its activity report.

It comes as the EU Ambassador got heavily bashed over suggestions The Gambia should moved towards a society where gays would live in peace.