At simply 20 years previous, Abdou receives loss of life threats and is ostracized by his household. He bears witness to the just about unimaginable life in Senegal and the social exclusion of homosexuals in his nation.
“The state of affairs is getting an increasing number of critical“he blurts out.”The anger that individuals have… it isn’t one thing that existed earlier than“.
Repressive legal guidelines towards homosexuality.
On this 95% Muslim and really training nation, homosexuality is extensively thought-about deviant. Immediately, the regulation punishes by imprisonment for one to 5 years the so-calledtowards nature with a person of his intercourse“.
The regulation, which a part of the opposition considers too insufficiently strict. In December 2021, on the initiative of the Islamic NGO Jamra, 11 members of parliament submitted a invoice to punish homosexuality with a price of 5 to 10 years in jail.
To see: Senegal: homosexuality within the eyes of the regulation
The Parliament rejects the proposal in view of the prevailing slightly strict laws. NGO spokesperson Mama Mactar Gueye claims that the LGBT group “problematic“as a result of she”begins to penetrate the general public area“and to”provoke“.
In accordance with him, the nation is in “depressing stressHe claims the brand new regulation would shieldsociety, but in addition the homosexuals of mafia justice“.
Islamic teams have been on the forefront of the combat towards homosexuality in Senegal in recent times. Many members of those teams studied in Arab international locations, in accordance with AFP. For a few of them, homosexuality is a software utilized by Westerners to impose values which can be supposedly alien to the nation’s tradition.
His fundamental opponent, Ousmane Sonko, has made the combat towards homosexuality a marketing campaign argument for subsequent Sunday’s parliamentary elections.
To see: Senegal: who’s Ousmane Sonko?
Violent marketing campaign towards homosexuality within the streets.
“The state of affairs of the LGBTQI group has been very sophisticated, particularly within the final yr and a half“Says Ousmane Aly Diallo, an Amnesty Worldwide researcher contacted by AFP. In accordance with this head of the NGO’s West and Central Africa workplace, the previous yr has been attribute.”by means of a large marketing campaign“towards homosexuality”led by spiritual and conservative associations that allegedly need to restore Senegalese values“.
“Goor-jigéen” (male-female in Wolof) have lengthy been a part of the social panorama. “However what we discover at this time is definitely intolerance in the direction of LGBTQI identification.“, reveals Aly Diallo.This more and more harmful and extremely political intolerance is brought on by the rise of spiritual discourse and religiosity in Senegal and (…) the weak point of establishments within the face of this rise.“.
For his half, sociologist Djiby Diakhate explains that “for a lot of Senegalese, if homosexuality develops, it is going to be a catastrophe; we’ll expertise drought, epidemics, dangerous luck“.
They only must do their practices discreetly; residents will not be able to stay with them
Abdoulaye Guissé, a 28-year-old Senegalese pupil
Abdoulaye Guissé, a 28-year-old pupil, instructed AFP “I see no motive why Senegal have to vary their place to present more room“homosexuals”.They only must do their practices discreetly; residents will not be able to stay with them“.
Malamine Bayo, 32, for his half, advocates “research the query of whether or not it’s not a illness“, or “if there’s a selection“. Suggests”supervise these individuals in order that they will stay with out hassle“.
In mid-Could 2022, Paris Saint-Germain footballer and Senegal worldwide Idrissa Gana Gueye brought on controversy in France and Senegal. The participant is accused of refusing to hitch the combat towards homophobia throughout a match in France. He acquired an outpouring of assist in Senegal.
Learn: Soccer: PSG participant Idrissa Gana Gueye at coronary heart of homophobia row
Throughout the identical interval, an American artist visiting Dakar was violently attacked. A video posted on a number of social networks exhibits a dozen males manhandling the artist due to his type, which is taken into account homosexual.
“It is extra dangerous at this time to publicly show your LGBTQI identification than a couple of years in the past,” explains Aly Diallo. “There are an increasing number of assaults towards members of this group, typically filmed and broadcast on social media,” he stated.
In Could 2021 and February 2022, hundreds of individuals demonstrated in Dakar to demand elevated repression of homosexuality.
Life has been made unimaginable for homosexuals in Senegal.
Abdou bears witness to a traumatic childhood and adolescence. Throughout this a part of his life, he undergoes “religious” marabout baths to treatment his supposed “sickness” and his effeminate facet. Hiding to stay out his sexuality, he’s crushed by his relations and makes an attempt suicide.
To see: Senegal: Senegal: campaigning for LGBTQIA+ rights, the battle of Djamilo Bangoura
His life modifications on the finish of 2021 when a cousin and his father report the younger man’s interview with an LGBT community. Proper after his father divorced his mom and threw him out of the home. “He despatched me messages the place he stated, “You might be embarrassing me; you do not should stay…” says Abdou.
Abdou contacts an affiliation overseas that can assist him escape to a rustic within the area. He goes into hiding for 5 months, however in early Could his mom, who has remained in touch with him, convinces him to return. Since then, Abdou has been hiding at residence. Fearing for his life, his mom locks him in her room when she learns of the assault…
Watch: Senegal: Homophobic assault broadcast on video stirs feelings
When homosexuality is revealed, these round him typically see the violence of his response as the one solution to save his “status”.
In Senegal, residing with homosexuality means being at risk from morning to nighttime; it is a very darkish path
Daouda*, a younger homosexual Senegalese man.
That is what Daouda*, an solely son who led the lifetime of a pupil, skilled till the day his father came upon about his homosexuality. “Then he pulled out a gun, he wished to shoot me (at)…“Daouda fled to a rustic within the area the place AFP met him, lower off from his household for eight years.”In Senegal, residing with homosexuality means being at risk from morning to nighttime; it is a very darkish path“A number of of his buddies dedicated suicide. They could not stay in hiding.”
On this context, many homosexual males lead a double life. Simply 3 months in the past, this was the destiny of Khalifa*, a bisexual. Married for 4 years, he lived till he was 34 with out these round him suspecting something. Not too long ago “convicted” he misplaced his job and profession. His father threatens to “kill” him, he now not sees his spouse or baby and survives in a metropolis removed from Dakar.
Khalifa sees no different possibility however to hunt asylum overseas. He studies that the anti-LGBT motion has recognized him and is threatening to trace him down or publish his title on the Web.
Abdou would additionally like to depart Senegal. The younger man longs to stay in a spot the place he could be “accepted” and tries to distance his mom from the stigma. “If I depart, it is going to be quiet for my mom…” he stated, his voice breaking.
In Africa, the “variety” of contexts for LGBTQI rights.
As a result of threat of sexual orientation, Senegal was faraway from the listing of secure international locations of origin by the French Workplace for the Safety of Refugees and Stateless Individuals (Ofpra) in 2021.
In its newest report, Amnesty Worldwide studies instances of harassment, arrests and trials associated to homosexuality throughout the African continent. This report acknowledges extra progressive laws on LGBTI rights in South Africa and several other international locations on the continent. In a number of African international locations, the LGBT group is expressing itself, which is unthinkable in Senegal, in accordance with Amnesty.
Learn: Africa: what rights for homosexuals?
Nevertheless, because of the absence of official knowledge and the variety of contexts, specialists observe that it’s troublesome to ascertain the extent of persecution in Senegal in comparison with different African international locations. However he says the state of affairs throughout the continent stays tense.
* First names taken for safety causes.