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Torturer Next Door: Gambia's Antigay Prez Owns Home in Maryland

Torturer Next Door: Gambia's Antigay Prez Owns Home in Maryland

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The Human Rights Campaign placed a full-page ad in a Maryland newspaper warning locals about a 'human rights violator' in their midst.

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The Human Rights Campaign wants the people of Potomac, Md., to know that Gambian President Yahya Jammeh -- who signed a draconian antigay law into effect -- owns a $3.5 million home in their city.

The HRC took out an ad in a local paper, The Gazette, that reads "Meet Your Neighbor" and includes the following paragraph: "In November, he began rounding up people suspected of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender and throwing them in prison. Three of these people are still being held without access to lawyers, facing torture and fearing for their lives."

"The citizens of Potomac should know that an individual with a truly horrific anti-LGBT human rights record lives just a few doors down from them," Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global, said in a statement. "Those who target LGBT people, throw them in prison, and subject them to torture should not be welcome in our towns, our neighborhoods, or our country. We hope that this ad raises awareness about President Jammeh and the state of human rights in The Gambia."

Gambia's law, which Jammeh signed in November, provides for life in prison for people convicted of "aggravated homosexuality," a definition that includes acts committed by "serial offenders" and people living with HIV or AIDS as well as someone who has sex with a minor or a disabled person -- or someone under the influence of drugs. The law also equates pedophilia with homosexuality, prescribing life prison terms for parents or guardians who have sex with same-sex dependents.

HRC started a petition in December urging the Obama administration to take action against Jammeh. The White House later announced it was suspending trade benefits for the nation.

Watch a video about Jammeh below.

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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.