Senegalese journalist Tamsir Jupiter Ndiaye was ordered on July 31 to return to prison to serve a six-month sentence for homosexual acts.
The conviction stemmed from an incident in June that involved a group of youths, including Kéba Nar Sy, a young man whose age was variously cited as anywhere from 13 to 25.
This is a second homosexuality-related conviction for Ndiaye, who in 2012 had been sentenced to four years in prison for same-sex activity and assault. After that sentence was later reduced, he was released on parole in 2013.
Homosexual acts in Senegal are punishable by up to five years prison and fines of up to $2,500.
Ndiaye, a former UNESCO employee who had been incarcerated since his arrest in June, said that on June 24 he had engine trouble, stopped at a service station, saw youths attacking a young man, interrupted the attack and then gave Sy a ride. As another vehicle pursued them, Sy at first refused to get out of the vehicle, then left with Ndiaye’s computer. Ndiaye said that to save his life he took refuge at a Dakar police station.
Sy said that Ndiaye had stopped the vehicle at a secluded location, molested him and asked for a blow job. Sy said he refused, punched Ndiaye, saw the computer fall and picked it up when he got out of the vehicle. People who had come to Sy’s aid chased Ndiaye to the police station, Sy said.
On July 31, the judge rejected Ndiaye’s account of the incident and imposed the prison sentence.
The international advocacy organization Freedom House criticized the action without delving into the specifics of the case:
“Senegal’s continued prosecution of LGBT individuals contradicts the country’s overall commitment to universal human rights,” said Jenai Cox, senior program manager for Africa. “The penal code that criminalizes unnatural sexual acts should be repealed as it encourages discrimination, undermines freedom of expression, and violates Senegalese and international law.”
Freedom House, based in the United States, is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights. It has regional offices in New York, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico and South Africa.
- Senegalese journalist gets 6 months for homosexuality (July 31, 2015, AP via abc13.com)
- Senegal Prosecutes LGBT Persons (Aug. 3, 2015, Freedom House)
- Senegal art show to feature LGBT Africans (April 2014, 76crimes.com)
- After mob attack, Senegal blocks gay-themed art show (June 2014, 76crimes.com)
- Police block anti-gay violence in Senegal (February 2014, 76crimes.com)
- Senegal prison sentence for gay couple; how rare? (February 2014, 76crimes.com)
- Appeal to Senegal to release 5 alleged lesbians (November 2013, 76crimes.com)
- Senegal police arrest 5 alleged lesbians (November 2013, 76crimes.com)
- Senegal leader rejects repeal of anti-gay laws (April 2013, 76crimes.com)