By Lamin Njie
The Gambia should allow people of the same sex who love each other to marry, a top UN official suggested on Wednesday.
Fabian Salvioli, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, on Wednesday completed a one-week visit to The Gambia to assess measures taken by the Barrow administration in the areas of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.
At the end of the visit, Mr Salvioli invited journalists to a press conference held at UN House in Cape where he addressed a number of issues including gay marriage which is a criminal offence in The Gambia.
According to Mr Salvioli, “if the decriminalisation [of same-sex marriage] continues, The Gambia has to appear before these bodies [UN Human Rights Council] to receive very clear observations from the international community in that regard.”
Homosexuality is a criminal offence in The Gambia punishable with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. It was first criminalised by former president Yahya Jammeh who had once threatened to decapitate anyone guilty of the lifestyle.
The Barrow administration a few weeks ago informed a high level UN meeting on human rights that it has no plan to decriminalise homosexuality.