The Gambia. Shortly after the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) granted the Gambia debt amortization of over half a
billion dollars, President Yahya Jammeh promised that all
public servants would receive a 20 percent higher salary. At
the same time, he said government spending would be
tightened to curb inflation.
During the year, several examples were given of the
regime's authoritarian tendencies. The president said in a
speech to the nation in May that all homosexuals must leave
the country within 24 hours. He said the country's laws
would be "stricter than Iran's" and threatened to behead
those homosexuals who dared to stay.
Countryaah reports, harassment against journalists continued. One reporter at
an Internet newspaper was sentenced to four years in prison
for criticizing the president, a Nigerian journalist at a
Gambian newspaper was arrested a couple of times and his
home was searched, a reporter was stabbed under unclear
circumstances and the editor-in-chief of a
government-friendly newspaper was dismissed without
A British missionary couple was sentenced in December to
one year of penal work for revival. They acknowledged that
they had sent critical comments about the country's leaders.