Senegal is drawing international condemnation by human rights organisations for jailing nine gay men this week. Each of the men were sentenced to eight years in prison for “indecent conduct and unnatural acts,” Senegal’s legalese for, basically, being gay.
Homosexuality is illegal in Senegal, with a maximum prison sentence of five years. However, these men were given an additional three years on top of the maximum for belonging to a “criminal organisation.” The organisation, AIDES Senegal, provides free condoms and information about HIV prevention.
Senegal recently played host to an important international AIDS conference which featured several prominent gay rights activists and AIDS workers. I guess Senegal cares about human rights—when the world is watching.