Up to 20 men have been arrested in the African nation of Senegal because they are gay, according to yesterday’s press release from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC).
“Many consider Senegal to be one of the most progressive African countries on the issue of homosexuality,” said Joel Nana, IGLHRC’s Program Associate for West Africa. “The government has included a commitment to fighting HIV among men who have sex with men in its national AIDS response plan since 2005. That’s why we found these arrests to be very distressing.”
The arrests occurred last Sunday after a local magazine published pictures of a marriage ceremony between two Senegalese men (the wedding apparently took place over a year ago). After the publication, attendees who were identified were rounded up and arrested.
“Mass arrests of people simply because they are gay terrorize the entire community,” said Paula Ettelbrick, IGLHRC’s executive director.