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Senegal demonstrators demand harsher laws against same-sex relations

Thousands of people in Dakar last week attended a rally demanding harsher laws to clamp down on same sex relations, reports Radio France International. “There are definitely more people, of all age and social class, who share the views of those who demonstrated than there are promoting the rights of the LGBT+ community,” said Drissa Traoré, the secretary-general of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

The rally in Senegal’s capital was organised by a group known, in the Wolof language, as And Samm Jikko Yi (Together we Protect our Values), regrouping some 125 local associations. Eleven Members of Parliament belonging to this group tabled a draft law in December 2020 seeking to toughen already severe laws against same sex relations. It was rejected in January.

The office of the National Assembly issued a statement saying that President Macky Sall made it clear that homosexuality will not be legalised and that it is already “severely punished by the Senegalese penal code”. Senegal’s article 319:3 states that “whoever will have committed an improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sex will be punished by imprisonment of between one and five years”. It is accompanied by a fine ranging from between approximately €150 to €3,000. The rejected Bill would have increased jail time to 10 years for anyone who commits an “act against nature” with someone of the same gender as well as suppression of their civic rights.

“Act against nature” is defined as “lesbianism, homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality, intersexuality, bestiality, necrophilia and similar practices”.

Imam Aliou Ndao from the And Samm Jikko Yi group called on the Speaker to bring back the rejected Bill to be examined and adopted by Parliament.

 

RFI article – Demonstrators in Senegal call for tougher laws against homosexuals (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

African nations urged to decriminalise same-sex activity — Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation

 

Ghana’s draconian anti-gay Bill

 

Gabon's decision to decriminalise homosexuality welcomed

 

Criminalisation raises HIV risk fivefold for MSM living in Africa

 

Botswana’s landmark gay rights ruling upheld by Court of Appeal

 

 

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