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Senegalese rally to criminalise homosexuality

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same-sex activity is already punishable by up to five years in prison.. PHOTO: AFP

Several hundred protesters rallied Sunday in Dakar to demand that homosexuality be made a crime in Senegal, according to AFP journalists. 

It is not illegal to identify as gay in the deeply conservative Muslim nation, but same-sex activity is already punishable by up to five years in prison.

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Religious leaders and civil-society figures addressed hundreds of jubilant protesters, who had gathered in a central square for the rally organised by And Samm Jikko Yi, a civil-society collective that promotes “correct values”.

Ousmane Kouta, a representative of a student religious group, told the crowd that Senegal is a country of faith and values.

“It is homophobic and will remain so forever,” he said, to cheers and chanted slogans.

Aminata Diallo, a member of an association for young Muslims, told AFP that she attended the rally to protest homosexuality and demand its criminalisation.

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Other protesters were more extreme.

“We will kill them, or we will burn them alive. We’ll never accept homosexuality,” said 56-year-old municipal official Demba Dioup.

Senegal’s government has repeatedly ruled out legalising homosexuality.

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Senegal’s President Macky Sall has previously stressed that gay people are not ostracised in the nation of 16 million however, and that the same-sex activity ban reflects cultural norms.

Consensual same-sex relations are legal in 21 of 54 African countries, according to a 2019 report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

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DakarhomosexualitySenegal
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