After escaping the dictatorship in Gambia with life-threatening wounds inflicted on him from his time in prison, Alieu Sarr still isn’t safe.
After spending more than six months in prison and suffering several rounds of torture with two serious hospitalizations for his injuries, Alieu Sarr fled his country by boat. Last autumn, Sarr was arrested alongside at least 15 others, by security forces controlled by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, one of the world’s most reckless dictators. Jammeh adopted a law that would punish "aggravated homosexuality" with life in prison. Most of those with whom he was arrested were released after short detentions, but Sarr and two other men were kept to face charges. Jammeh repeatedly made public pledges to execute LGBT people, including promising in a
speech to slit the throats of homosexuals. “No one will ever set eyes on you again, and no white person can do anything about it,” Jammeh vowed.In an interview Sarr said that “Senegal and Dakar are the very same. My life is not safe in the whole of Africa.” Sarr was stopped by police officials when he was coming home one night from dinner with a friend. “We know you are homosexual — everyone told us about you,” he remembered the agents telling him. He said they gave him a choice: “If you want [us] to deal with you easily, you will call
the names of homosexuals, because you know their names and we want to get them all.”Sarr has been living in exile since leaving Gambia and has survived on gifts from human rights activists living in exile.
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