4 anti-gay arrests in Senegal as 2019 election approaches

A wave of politically motivated anti-gay arrests is under way in Senegal.

Senegal's location in Africa.
Senegal’s location in Africa.

The latest LGBT people arrested were two women and two men,  detained in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, for “acts against the order of nature.” According to reports, videos portraying the couples having sex had begun circulating in their neighborhood.

The arrest came shortly after the conviction in early September of a local chef, Cheikh Abdel Kalifa Karaboué, for drugging and raping a male co-worker. He was sentenced to four years in prison for rape and sexual acts “against nature.”

Grassroots activists said anti-gay arrests have grown as presidential elections approach.

Senegal President Macky Sall is up for re-election next year.

Macky Sall (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
Senegal President Macky Sall (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

The LGBT rights group Arc en Ciel Senegal said that the regime is building its defenses against potential accusations of being “pro-homosexual.”

“The hunt for sexual minorities begins,” wrote Arc en Ciel Senegal, “because the government is preparing to answer those who call them ‘pro-homosexual’ as was the case in the 2016 referendum.”

The group added, “Young people really need training and support to deal with these threats.”

Pan Africa ILGA stated:

“As the elections in Senegal approach, parties are making their stand against the LGBTIQ+ community by arresting members of the community. The Senegalese candidates and government need to be held accountable for their homophobic stance and the human rights violations being perpetrated as a platform for election. We stand in solidarity with our Senegalese comrades.”

This article includes information from ILGA’s LGBulleTIn.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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