The body of a man believed to be gay has been removed twice from a cemetary in the town of Thies, Senegal.

According to reports, the man, aged in his thirties, had died of natural causes.

He was buried on Saturday in a Muslim cemetery but his body was exhumed by villagers and laid next to his burial spot.

After being reburied by his family, his body was again exhumed and placed outside his home by locals who did not want him in the cemetery.

According to AFP, the man’s body was then buried at another location.

Homosexual acts are punishable by imprisonment of between one and five years in Senegal.

Nine men in in the country who were sentenced to eight years in prison for “indecent conduct and unnatural acts” had their convictions overturned last month.

Dakar’s court of appeal ordered the arrest warrants against the men to be lifted and ruled they must be released immediately.

The men, most of whom belong to a group set up to combat HIV/AIDS, were arrested in December at the apartment of Diadji Diouf, a prolific LGBT leader, and sentenced in January.

The men’s counsel argued that there was no material proof for the accusations, no specific complainant had filed charges against the men and that the time of their arrests (after 10pm) was illegal.

Gay rights groups believe the eight-year sentence originally given to the men is the harshest ever handed down to anyone accused of gay crimes.