Nephew of Gambian president receives asylum in U.S.

On June 9, 2016 The Washington Blade reported: The nephew of Gambian President Yahya Jammeh who posted a pro-LGBT message to his Facebook page has received asylum in the U.S.

Alagie Jammeh told the Washington Blade on Monday during a telephone interview from Oxnard, Calif., that his initial asylum interview took place on May 6.

Alagie Jammeh learned on May 17 — the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia — that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had recommended him for approval. He told the Blade that his lawyer called him two days later and said his asylum request had been granted after passing a background check.

“It was exciting,” said Alagie Jammeh.

Gambian government rescinded scholarship over Facebook post

Alagie Jammeh, who will graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara, next week, posted a message to his Facebook page in September 2014 that said, “no one should be denied of their fundamental basic human rights because of their sexuality.” He told the Blade in a previous interview that he wrote the post after he became friends with a gay man.

Alagie Jammeh said members of his family in Gambia told him to remove the post from his Facebook page because they were concerned that he would lose his government scholarship. He told the Blade that Yahya Jammeh ultimately stopped providing financial support to him.

“One of the reasons I came to school here is to see things from a different angle,” said Alagie Jammeh on Monday. “I’m not going to apologize for that.”

Gambian government: Alagie Jammeh is ‘lying’

Gambia is a small, predominantly Muslim country that straddles the Gambia River in West Africa.

Yahya Jammeh in 2014 signed a law under which those who are convicted of “aggravated homosexuality” face life in prison. Activists and U.S. officials have sharply criticized the Gambian president over his anti-LGBT rhetoric, which includes threatening to slit the throats of gay men who live in the country.

Read more at: Nephew of Gambian president receives asylum in U.S.

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