This is important because of who Yaya Jammeh is. He seized power from a democratically elected government in 1994. He's been ruling The Gambia with an iron fist ever since.
- In January 2007, Jammeh claimed he could cure HIV/AIDS and asthma with natural herbs much to the consternation of the International Health Authorities, including the WHO and UNDP. Fadza Gwaradzimba, the resident Representative of the UNDP in The Gambia was expelled from the country after she expressed doubts about the claims, and concern that the remedy might encourage risky behavior.
- In August 2007, Jammeh claimed to have developed a herbal infusion that could treat high blood pressure.
- Jammeh had also claimed to have developed treatment for infertility in women.
- All of the above medical claims are, of course, without foundation and they have all been refuted and condemned by international medical and donor communities alike. Yet Jammeh continues to conduct clinics and perform treatments on patients who would have otherwise received treatments in officially-recognized treatment centers thus putting their lives at risk.
- On 15th May 2005, Jammeh announced that his government would introduce that would set rules against gays and lesbians that would be " stricter than those in Iran'. He also threatened to 'cut off the head of any gay or lesbian discovered in The Gambia" he ultimately issued an 'ultimatum' to the gay and lesbian community to leave the country or face the full force of the law.
- On August 26, 2012, Nine death row inmates ( including two foreign nationals ) were summarily executed on orders of Jammeh without due process and contrary to statutory and constitutional requirements. International outcry caused Jammeh to suspend further executions of 38 death row inmates still in custody.
OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
- Journalists are a favorite target of the Jammeh dictatorship. Several have gone missing. Others have been arrested, jailed and tortured, while numerous others are in exile in Africa, Europe and the United States.
- Two American citizen of Gambian heritage have recently been rescued from the notorious Mile 2 Prisons in The Gambia by Reverend Jesse Jackson. These two were accused of treason for what the government claimed was an attempt to overthrow the government.
Ambassador Jackson McDonald who has served honorably as U.S. Ambassador to the Gambia is now a senior Vice President to a lobbying group called Jefferson Waterman International with addresses on K - Street in Washington DC. I find it unacceptable that a former Ambassador to The Gambia will sign up as a K-Street lobbyist to spruce up the image of a dictator who threatens to "cut off the heads of gays and lesbians" and to usher in laws more stringent than those found in Iran. It is equally repugnant for a former U. S. Ambassador to be associated with a dictator whose security forces opened fire on high school students killing 12 for peacefully protesting an earlier death of a fellow student at the hands of the same security forces.