9 SENEGALESE HOMOSEXUALS JAILED


Nine gay men in Senegal have been sent to jail for “indecent conduct and unnatural acts”.

Homosexuality is illegal in Senegal but lawyers for the men said the sentence was the harshest ever handed down to gay men in the country.

The judge added three years to the maximum five-year sentence after ruling that the men were also members of a criminal organisation.

Most of them belonged to an association set up to fight HIV and Aids.

“This is the first time that the Senegalese legal system has handed down such a harsh sentence against gays,” said Issa Diop, one of men’s four defence lawyers.

Mr Diop said he would be appealing against the sentences.

The head of a gay rights organisation in Senegal told AFP news agency that the situation for gay people in the country was getting worse.

“Many gays are already fleeing to neighbouring countries because of our living conditions,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Senegal is a predominantly Muslim country and gay men and women remain socially marginalised.

In February 2008, a magazine editor received death threats after publishing pictures claiming to depict a wedding ceremony between two men.

Several men were also arrested in connection with the publication but later released.

SOURCED FROM BBC


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