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Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture, A/HRC/28/68/Add.4, 16 March 2015: Gambia

III. Assessment of the situation

A. Practice of torture and ill-treatment

2. National Intelligence Agency

24. However, testimonies of persons who had been held either at the National Intelligence Agency headquarters or in other “unofficial places of detention” revealed an ongoing practice whereby persons were held incommunicado for many days or weeks in inhumane conditions before being handed over to the police and brought before a judge. One individual was reportedly held for nine weeks and, in a recent case, three perceived homosexuals were held for over six weeks. There are accounts of severe and routine torture of those charged with “aggravated homosexuality” or those considered a “high risk to State security”, and of their being held routinely in clandestine detention.

D. Obligation to protect persons in situations of vulnerability

Violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons

93. In an overall context of State-sponsored violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, the Special Rapporteur is concerned that an amendment to the Criminal Code, signed into law by the President on 9 October 2014, on “aggravated homosexuality” subjects such persons to even greater risk of torture and ill-treatment. The Special Rapporteur received reports that the National Intelligence Agency had sought to arrest and detain individuals believed to be homosexual, including after group round-ups of up to 16 persons, who were subjected to violent attacks, humiliation and arbitrary arrest.[29] At least three individuals have been detained for weeks during “investigations” and are reported to have been tortured.

Link to full text of the report: Report-SRTorture-Gambia-2015-eng


Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. 29. Press statement by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 20 November 2014. Available from