US condemns Gambia's law imposing life sentences for some homosexual acts

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

The U.S. State Department has condemned the decision by Gambia's president to approve a law imposing life imprisonment for some homosexual acts.

In a statement Monday, Jeff Rathke, director of press relations, said the State Department is also concerned about reports of arrests this month of at least four men, a 17-year-old boy and nine women accused of committing homosexual acts.

Amnesty International alleges the suspects have been tortured.

Homosexual acts were already illegal in Gambia before lawmakers approved a law in August punishing "aggravated homosexuality" with life in prison. The term targets "serial offenders" and people living with HIV/AIDS, among others.

President Yahya Jammeh signed the law on Oct. 9, though no announcement has been made. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the signed law last week.