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Yearbook 2008

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.

2008 Gambia

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.

According to 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 justification.

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.

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