Demonstrators in Senegal call for tougher laws against homosexuals. They organized a rally in Dakar to push Parliament into accepting a proposed bill.
Demonstrators put pressure on the government to increase punishment from 5 years to 10 years imprisonment.
In Africa, especially within the Western Saharan countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, etc, homosexuality is widely frowned upon. In Senegal, thousands of people in the Capital, Darkar have launched a serious demonstration for harsher laws against homosexuality.
The country already has laws forbidding homosexual activities but today that doesn’t seem to be enough for the citizens. Religious leaders have also shown their concern on how to stick to their traditional values which rule against anything about LGBTQ+.
Drissa Traoré, the secretary-general of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) said:
“In Senegal, there are definitely more people, of all age and social class, who share the views of those who demonstrated on Sunday than there are promoting the rights of the LGBT+ community.”
In furtherance, Drissa told RFI that the Senegalese who throw their support behind homosexual activities “do not dare to publicly voice their opinions”.
That is a stern warning indicating how the organization and demonstrators have poised to deal with offenders through the laws.
Demonstrators took it to the street on Sunday demanding severe punishment for people caught indulging in homosexual activities in Senegal.
A group known in the Wolof language as And Samm Jikko Yi (Together we protect our values) organized the rally. They regrouped about 125 local associations. This is a combined effort from them to push lawmakers to increase the punishment for homosexuals and anyone who advocates for it.
Senegal’s article 319:3 says that “whoever will have committed an improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sex will be punished by imprisonment of between one and five years”. Accompanied by a fine ranging between approximately 150 to 3,000 euros.
Reports say, initially the proposed bill got rejected. But it would be looked into for further consideration.
The bill proposed 10 years imprisonment for anyone who commits an “act against nature” with someone of the same gender as well as suppression of their civic rights.
What is an act against nature according to the laws of Senegal?
“Act against nature” is defined as “lesbianism, homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality, intersexuality, bestiality, necrophilia and similar practices”.
A profound Senegalese religious leader called Oustaz Alioune Sall has said more members are needed in parliament to review the group’s views. He also added that the MPs who rejected the draft law need to be “punished” at the 31 July legislative elections.
Demonstrators have vowed not to allow any foreign entity to push their ideologies into their heads. They strongly stand against anyone or any institution that will try to defend LGBTQ+ activities in their country.