Senegal: out of step, outlawed

Crackdown on LGBTI people is on the rise in Senegal.

The situation of LGBTI people has worsened since 2017: they have been the target of homophobic marches, arrests, and persecution. The Free Collective, created in August 2020 to defend their rights, set up a secret shelter for persecuted LGBTI people, offered legal aid and medical care, and paid visits to people in prison. Currently, Article 319 of the Penal Code punishes any “act against nature with a person of the same sex “ with one to five years imprisonment. By the end of 2021, lawmakers drafted a new bill to criminalise homosexuality even further. The Free Collective is alarmed by this state of affairs. Prison Insider has asked them three questions.

It would have only made matters worse for LGBTI people, who already have great difficulty finding lawyers to defend them.

In Senegal, the topic of sexuality in prisons remains taboo. The prison service flat-out denies the issue.

We also asked whether he would appeal his conviction, in spite of the difficulty in finding a lawyer willing to plead his case.