Senegal: the majority qualifies as « false debate » a text aiming to harden the repression of LGBT

The parliamentary majority in Senegal on Saturday disapproved of a bill aimed at strengthening the repression of the LGTB community in this predominantly Muslim West African country, calling it « false debate», In a press release.

The bill, carried by 11 deputies including at least one of the majority, was tabled Wednesday in the National Assembly for a possible examination, on a date not yet known. It is, according to its initiators, supported by leaders and religious associations, influential in this 95% Muslim country where homosexuality is often considered a deviance.

The deputies carrying the bill want « install a false debate in this pre-election period » and « hide hidden political objectives», Declares the majority parliamentary group in the National Assembly, in this press release signed by its president, Aymérou Gningue.

Local elections aimed at renewing municipal and departmental councils, almost all currently controlled by the ruling majority, are scheduled for January 23 in Senegal. « The legislation of Senegal which dates from 1966 (…) is clear and clear on this subject. There is no need to add or remove a comma« . The acts covered by the proposed law « are already clearly banned and punished by law in Senegal, ”says Aymérou Gningue.

The proposed law aims to modify paragraph 3 of article 319 of the penal code to henceforth punish « a penalty of five to ten years’ imprisonment and a fine of 1 million to 5 million FCFA ( 1,500 to 7,625 euros), without the possibility of granting mitigating circumstances, anyone who has been found guilty of acts against nature ”.

In addition to homosexuality, it also targets other « infractions»: «lesbianism, bisexuality, transsexuality, intersexuality, bestiality, necrophilia and other similar practices».

The article that MEPs seek to amend states in its current version that « will be punished by imprisonment from one to five years and a fine of 100,000 to 1,500,000 francs (152 to 2,286 euros), anyone who has committed an indecent or unnatural act with an individual of his sex« . The Penal Code speaks of « immodest or unnatural act with an individual of his sex», Without making it a crime.

President Macky Sall, whose country is often cited as an example of the rule of law in Africa, has always invoked Senegalese cultural specificities to refuse a decriminalization of homosexuality, including in front of foreign leaders.

The text tabled by the deputies to the Assembly comes from the collective « And Samm Jikko» (Together for the safeguarding of values, in Wolof), compound « Senegalese associations of all stripes who have taken their responsibilities”, Declared Wednesday the deputy Mamadou Lamine Diallo during a press conference Wednesday in Dakar.


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