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Gay Man’s Grave Desecrated and His Body Burned in Senegal: Report

Author: Christopher Wiggins

A shocking incident in Senegal is under investigation, where a video depicted a gay man’s body being exhumed and burned.

The videos, spread across social and local media, show onlookers surrounding a large fire, capturing the grim scene on their phones. Senegal, where homosexual acts are deemed “against nature” and punishable by imprisonment, has a history of homophobia. However, this act has struck a chord, being seen by many as a blatant disrespect toward the deceased, AFP reports.

The judiciary, reacting to the “barbarity” of the act, initiated an investigation on Sunday to identify and punish the perpetrators. AFP, as informed by an anonymous local police official, reported that four individuals suspected to have orchestrated this act were arrested in Kaolack on Monday. Although rare, there have been documented cases of body exhumation due to alleged homosexuality in Senegal from 2008 to 2009.

Human rights organizations, including Amnesty International Senegal, have vehemently condemned the incident for violating the dignity of the deceased and his family. The hostile environment for Senegal’s LGBTQ+ community is not new, with many forced to hide their identity or flee abroad to evade persecution. In 2021, the majority of the 1,300 Senegalese asylum applications in France cited sexual orientation-based persecution.

Attempts by the deceased’s family to bury him in Senegal’s holy city of Touba were thwarted by allegations of his homosexuality. They eventually buried him near his home in Kaolack amid community objections. Prominent religious leader Serigne Cheikh Tidiane Khalifa Niasse denounced the act, while a representative from the group “And Samm Jikko Yi” blamed the Senegalese state for seemingly over-protecting the LGBTQ+ community, leading to such acts of mob justice.

Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Christopher Wiggins

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