Seven jailed for homosexuality in Senegal


senegal_seven_men_jailed_homosexualityA court in Senegal has jailed seven men for six months on charges of homosexuality.

According to the BBC, police claimed they caught the accused having sex during a raid.

One of the men’s mother had apparently told the authorities that her son is gay but never arrived to testify against him in court as had been expected.

Despite this, and, according to Defence lawyer, Abdoul Daff, the lack of “material evidence”, the court still ruled against the men.

Earlier this month, well-known Senegalese journalist Tamsir Jupiter Ndiaye was also sentenced to six months in jail after being found guilty of engaging in “homosexual acts”.

Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in the West African country under article 319 of the penal code which punishes “improper or unnatural” acts with jail time of between one and five years.

In 2013, Senegal’s minister of justice denied that article 319 targeted gays and lesbians, despite a number of arrests of LGBT people that followed.

In June 2014, Senegal’s President Macky Sall and American President Barack Obama famously exchanged words over the issue of LGBT rights during the US leader’s visit to the country.

At a press conference in Dakar, President Sall told Obama that while the country was not ready to decriminalise homosexuality, “Senegal, as far as it is concerned, is a very tolerant country which does not discriminate in terms of inalienable rights of the human being.”

According to a 2013 Pew Global Attitudes Project survey, 97% of the Senegalese public believe that homosexuality should not be accepted by society.

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