Saturday, January 10, 2009

Update on LGBT Arrests in Senegal

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Little did we know that as we were completing the finishing touches on our interview with Pape Mabye (posted below) further dangerous dealings were unfolding against the LGBT community in Senegal. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights commission has just released the following information which was also reported on ABC and BBC news.

On December 19, 2008, police officers raided the apartment of Mr. Diadji Diouf, an important leader in the Senegalese lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, and arrested him and seven other men. Mr Diouf, who heads AIDES Senegal, an organization providing HIV prevention services to men who have sex with men (MSM), and his guests were taken to the SICAP Mbao police station where they were detained until December 24 before being transferred to the Maison D'arrĂȘt et de dĂ©tention de Rebeuss.

Yesterday the nine men appeared in court to respond to charges of criminal conspiracy and engaging in acts against the order of nature. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) was informed that lawyers for the defense had had limited access to case files and little time to prepare for the court hearing. The men were condemned to a sentence of 8 years in jail although the prosecutor had asked for a sentence of 5 years, which is the maximum penalty provided by Senegalese law in sodomy cases.

Photo: AIDS Conference Senegal, December 2008. Courtesy of BBC News.

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