Tension Mounts over Suspected Impunity for Alleged Gays in Senegal

Thursday, February 21, 2008

As the impending conference of the Organisation of Islamic Summit (OIC) approaches, the Muslim community of Senegal is at loggerheads with the authorities over the release of two alleged homosexuals held by the police just as they attempted to wed.

Militants of the Movement for the Reform of Social Development, led by Imam Mbaye Niang, last Friday had a serious confrontation with the police after the prayer at the Grand mosque. The police brandished and wielded tear gas canisters to disperse the restive crowd of demonstrators. The march of the political movement against the liberation of the alleged homosexuals was the cause of the incident. Many demonstrators, among them Oustaz Alioune Sall, a religious chronicler at Sud FM radio station, were arrested. It was only around 6pm, after the intervention of the Khalifa General of the Mouride, Serigne Bara, that they were released.

The Muslim community of Senegal is said to represent 90% of the population and are firmly determined to force the authorities to take serious measures to tackle the issue of homosexuality, which is becoming rampant in the capital city of Dakar.

Author: By Ousmane Thiam in Dakar
Source: The Point