Gambia Stripped of Special Trade Status Over Anti-Gay Law

The US has stripped Gambia of its special trade status, after the country introduced an anti-gay law. Gambia had previously been afforded special benefits due to its status, under the African Growth and Opportunity Act of 2000, which allowed it to export goods worth $37 million each year to the US without paying duty. However, it was announced yesterday that the country would be removed from the scheme, after President Yahya Jammeh signed a law punishing homosexuality with life imprisonment.

In October 2014, Gambian President signed into law legislation that further restricts the rights of LGBT individuals, including life imprisonment for so-called 'aggravated homosexuality'. Reports have surfaced of arrests, detention and torture of individuals because of their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

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