Gambia's president on Thursday announced that gays, lesbians, and "criminals" have 24 hours to leave the country or face death. President Yahya Jammeh has said previously that he is seeking a crackdown even harsher than that in Iran, according to Afrol News.
"Foreigners are cordially welcomed in The Gambia, but not bad elements," he said at a rally outside Banjul, Gambia's capital.
He also ordered landlords and hotel owners to evict gays before a mass search is conducted by security forces.
In response, Peter Tatchell of British gay rights group OutRage! said the threats are no surprise.
"The Gambian leader, Yahya Jammeh, has a long history of homophobia and has promoted crackpot cures for HIV," Tatchell said in a press release. "He'll have to kill an awful lot of Gambians and foreign aid workers and tourists to get rid of gays and lesbians."
A government ousting of gays violates the African Union's Charter on Human Rights and could spur a withdrawal of international aid for Gambia. (The Advocate)