Persecution of Homosexuals (Senegal)

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Note that this page may contain news regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transvestite, and transsexual people (LGBTT)

In a country where homosexuality is illegal and those who admit their homosexuality are threatened and assaulted, the fledgling gay movement is battling for recognition in the struggle against HIV/AIDS

Senegal’s fledgling gay movement is battling for recognition in the struggle against HIV/AIDS and hopes to win its first ever government grant to assist homosexuals living with the disease.

The problem is that homosexuality is illegal in devoutly Muslim Senegal, and the MSM movement—the acronym stands for “Men who have sex with men”—is asking for funds from the government-run National Council to Fight AIDS (CNLS).

The five-year-old MSM movement claims to have 400 members out of a population of 10 million.
. . .
The source said gays in Senegal who have come out in public have been threatened and assaulted. They were particularly at risk from AIDS, since many were ignorant about how the virus is transmitted, he added.

Because of the social stigma attached to homosexuality, some members of the gay community live a double life as married men with children.

Police arrest and then release several men over the publication of pictures said to depict a wedding ceremony between two men. Editor of the magazine receives death threats

Police in Senegal have released several men arrested over the publication of pictures said to depict a wedding ceremony between two men.

No official reason has been given for their release.

The pictures were published in Icone magazine, whose editor, Mansour Dieng, has since received death threats.

Homosexuality is illegal in Senegal but it is not clear whether the arrests were in connection with the ceremony or the death threats.
. . .

Senegal is a predominantly Muslim country and gay men and women remain socially marginalised.
Senegal 'gay wedding' men freed
BBC News, February 7, 2008

Nine men, including a prominent activist, convicted of homosexual acts and sentenced to eight years in prison

Nine men, including a prominent activist, have been convicted of homosexual acts and sentenced to eight years in prison, their lawyer and a gay rights group said Thursday.

Diadji Diouf, who heads an organization that provides HIV prevention services to gay men in Senegal, and the others were arrested last month in a raid on Diouf's apartment. The arrests came just weeks after Senegal hosted an international AIDS conference that included gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender participants.
. . .
The nine convicted men were sentenced for unnatural acts and criminal conspiracy, said Nana. "This is the first case that we've heard of in Senegal where people actually got sentenced," he said, calling the punishment long and harsh.

Attorney Issa Diop said his clients would appeal the sentences handed down late Tuesday.

"It is a deliberate will to penalize them," Diop said, noting that the maximum punishment for such cases in Senegal is set at five years.
9 men jailed in Senegal for homosexual acts
Sadibou Marone, Associated Press, January 8, 2009

The corpse of a homosexual man is dug up twice from a Muslim cemetery and dumped at his families doorstep

The body of a man believed to be homosexual has twice been dug up from a Muslim cemetery in Senegal.

The man, in his 30s, was first buried on Saturday before residents of the western town of Thies dug up his body and left it near his grave, police say.

His family then reburied him, but he was once more exhumed by people who did not want him buried there. His body was dumped outside the family house.

Senegal outlaws homosexual acts but there is a tradition of effeminate men.

A police officer told the AFP news agency that the body was eventually buried away from the cemetery.
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The AFP news agency reports that local imams, as well as some newspapers and radio stations, have denounced homosexuals after an appeals court last month overturned the conviction of nine people for homosexual acts.

They had been sentenced to eight years in jail after being found guilty of "indecent conduct and unnatural acts".