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Senegal urged to legalise gay
afrol News, 13 February - As the dust surrounding the arrest and detention of people accused of taking part in a clandestine gay marriage in Senegal is yet to be settled, several international organisations have called on Senegalese authorities to decriminalise homosexuality in the country.
Several men who took part in a wedding between a Senegalese man and another West African were detained after a local magazine, Icone, published their photos. They were later released without official explanation.
The publication has generated the anger and shock in some quarters, with some people threatening to kill the paper's editor, Mansour Dieng.
Homosexuality is a serious criminal offence that carries a five-year punishment and heavy fine in predominantly conservative Muslim West African country where gay men and women remain socially marginalised.
According to human rights organisations, including the International Federation of Human Rights, the Inter-African Union of Human Rights and Amnesty International in Senegal, the decriminalisation of homosexuality is a characteristic of a democratic society that respects human rights of its people.
Right activists wondered how this could be possible in Senegal.
The practice is forbidden in many African countries where several Presidents have been accused of "brutally" acting on their will to combat personally what they called this "anti-African scourge." Those found guilty of homosexual acts in some African countries such as Nigeria and Uganda could be jailed for life.
In 2006, South Africa became the first African country to legalise same-sex marriages.
By staff writer
© afrol News
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