BANJUL, Gambia (AP) - A court in Gambia has dropped charges against 18 men and two women who had been arrested in April and charged with indecency after a dance ceremony for tourists.
Director of Public Prosecution S.H. Barkun submitted an application Wednesday to withdraw the case. The defense had no objections.
Presiding Magistrate Sheriff Tabally granted the application and then dismissed all charges.
Prosecutors charged the defendants with "unnatural offenses" and felony for organizing a dance ceremony for gays. They all pleaded not guilty.
The criminal charge is applied toward people who are accused of taking part in homosexual acts in Gambia.
In 2008, President Yahya Jammeh told gays and lesbians to leave the country or have their heads cut off.
Gays and lesbians face threats of violence and discrimination across the continent.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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