Senegal: Release the four men arrested in Darou Mousty for homosexuality

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The arrest, detention and conviction because of alleged homosexuality is contrary to the rights of freedom against discrimination, equality before the law and to privacy.
 
The problem:

On 19 June 2009, four men were arrested and detained by police in the town of Darou Mousty, located in the department of Kébémer in the region of Louga. These four men were arrested because of allegations of sexual acts "against nature". There are also indications that the police forced the men to reveal the names of other supposed "homosexual." The week of 10 August 2009, two of these men were convicted despite the fact that the only evidence was the reporting of city dwellers. A man was sentenced to two years in prison and the other a penalty of five years. A third accused, who has seventeen years, still awaits trial on 24 August 2009 in a court for minors. The status of the fourth is unknown.

Senegal, according to Article 319 of the Penal Code, is one of few French-speaking countries that criminalize homosexuality. Last year, nine members of AID Senegal were arrested and sentenced to eight years in prison for 'indecent conduct and acts against nature "and" conspiracy ". The Court of Appeal in Dakar has quashed the sentences in April 2009.

The laws criminalize consensual sex between two persons of the same sex, and the detention of anyone for this reason, they are arbitrary and violate international law and African. According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as explained in Toonen v. Australia (1994) by the Committee on Human Rights, and according to the Working Group of the United Nations on Arbitrary Detention, these laws violate Articles 2 and 26 on the rights to equality before the law, freedom against discrimination, and privacy. In addition, the Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern about laws that criminalize "homosexual relations, including in the case of persons under 18 years" because they are discrimination under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (General remarks 3 & 4, Concluding observations: Chile (April 2007).

The criminalization of consensual sex between two persons of the same sex is also against the guarantees of non-discrimination and equality before the law, found in Articles 2, 3, and 28 of the African Charter on the Rights on Human and Peoples' Rights and Article 7 of the Constitution Sénégalaise.

Find information about the problems lesbians, gay, bisexual, and transgender here.

Action:

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (The Commission on the Rights of Homosexuals and Lesbians) invites you to help us ask the Senegalese government to release these men and stop the persecution against sexual minorities received by repealing the Article 319.

Contacts:

President Abdoulaye Wade

     Avenue Léopold Sédar Senghor BP 4026
     Dakar, Senegal
     Telephone: (221) 33 880 80 80

Prime Minister Ndene Souleymane Ndiaye

     Administration Building - 9th Floor - PO Box 4029,
     Dakar, Senegal
     Fax: +221 33 823 44 79
     Email:  Premier.ministre@primature.sn

Senate President Pape Diop

     52, rue Mouhamed V
     Dakar, Senegal
     3131 DK.RP
     Fax: +221 33 821 16 52
     Email: info@senat.sn

Interior Minister Cheikh Tidiane Sy

     Pl Washington - Bd de la République BP 4002,
     Dakar, Senegal
     Fax: +221 33 821 0542

Minister of Justice Madické Niang

     Administrative Building 7th Floor PO Box 4030
     Dakar, Senegal
     Fax: +221 33 823 2727

Ambassador Paul Badji
Permanent Mission of Senegal to the United Nations


     238 E 68th Street
     New York, NY 10065
     USA
     Email: Senegal.mission@yahoo.fr
     Fax: +1 212 517 3032

The Embassy of Senegal in the USA

     2112 Wyoming Avenue, NW
     Washington DC, 20008
     USA
     Fax: +1 202 332 6315
     Email: contact@ambasenegal-us.org
     Ambassador Amadou Lamine Ba
     Email: alsarba@yahoo.com

Mr. Ousmane Camara, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Senegal to the United Nations Office at Geneva

     93, rue de la Servette
     1202 Geneva, Switzerland
     Fax: (+41 22) 740 0711
     mission.senegal@ties.itu.int

CC:

      communications+action.alert@iglhrc.org
 

Letter:

Your Excellencies:

I am writing to express my concern and disappointment about my recent reports on the arrests on 19 June 2009 of four men who come from the city Mousty Darou, Louga, and their convictions for alleged homosexuality during the week of 10 August 2009 . A third accused, who has seventeen years, still awaits trial on 24 August 2009 in a court for minors These men have been targeted for persecution because of their perceived sexual orientation, and they were convicted without proof beyond denunciations. There are also reports that they were forced to denounce other alleged homosexuals.

I ask that you support the release of all these men as did the Court of Appeal in Dakar in April 2009. The court released nine men who were arrested and convicted under Article 319 of the Penal Code, one that criminalizes consensual sex between two persons of the same sex. The trial proper and equality before the law are fundamental commitments that consecrated the Senegal in articles 7 and 9 of its constitution and its laws. It is important that these laws are respected regardless of sexual orientation, perceived or actual accused (e).

I ask that you repeal section 319. The laws criminalize consensual sex between two persons of the same sex, and the detention of anyone for this reason, they are arbitrary and violate international law and African. According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as explained in Toonen v. Australia (1994) by the Committee on Human Rights, and according to the Working Group of the United Nations on Arbitrary Detention, these laws violate Articles 2 and 26 on the rights to equality before the law, freedom against discrimination, and privacy. In addition, the Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern about laws that criminalize "homosexual relations, including in the case of persons under 18 years" because they are discrimination under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (General remarks 3 & 4, Concluding observations: Chile (April 2007). The criminalization of consensual sexual relations between persons of the same sex is contrary to the guarantees of non-discrimination and equality before the law can be found in Articles 2, 3, and 28 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.

The arrest and conviction of these men show the case of systemic persecution of sexual minorities and their supporters in Senegal. To guarantee the universal human rights, must be that Article 319 is repealed and the people being targeted by this law are protected against discrimination and maltreatment.

Best regards,

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