Man stripped, beaten and paraded through street by 100-strong homophobic mob
An American man visiting Senegal was brutally attacked by a crowd of nearly 100 people in a suspected homophobic attack.
The attack occurred on 17 May in Senegal’s capital, Dakar. A video surfaced that shows a half naked, barefoot and bleeding man engulfed by the angry crowd and being paraded through the streets as they chant anti-gay sentiments.
The crowd spewed venomous anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric such as: “Homosexuality will not be accepted in Senegal,” and called the man a “dirty homosexual”.
The mob turned murderous as they said: “Let us kill him before the police arrive,” and: “He does not deserve to live.”
Warning – disturbing footage.
Sénégal : Au moment où le pays est traversé par la polémique autour du footballeur Idrissa Gana Gueye, des images font polémique. Elles montrent une foule s'en prendre à un jeune homme à qui il est reproché d'être homosexuel. Des investigations policières ont été lancées. pic.twitter.com/U63ZfOrbic
— Le journal Afrique TV5MONDE (@JTAtv5monde) May 19, 2022
It is believed that the crowd targeted the man because of how he was dressed. The crowd stripped him, stole his belongings and marched him to the police station.
The victim is said to be an American DJ who was attending the Dakar Biennale contemporary art event.
On May 23, police announced that the three suspects had been arrested in connection to the incident.
Senegal has some of the harshest anti-LGBTQ+ laws in the world and offers few protections to the queer community. The country punishes homosexuality with a prison sentence of up to five years.
Human Dignity Trust says: “There is substantial evidence of the law being enforced in recent years, with LGBT people being frequently subject to arrest and arbitrary detention where they are vulnerable to torture.
“There have been consistent reports of discrimination and violence against LGBT people in recent years, including murder, assault, mob attacks, harassment, and threats.
“Media and society are openly against LGBT+ communities and vigilante mobs regularly raid people homes they suspect of being gay.”
Human Rights Watch researcher Neela Ghoshal stated that in seven cases where people reported hate crimes to the police they were the ones who were arrested.
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On 22 May, hundreds of protesters gathered in Dakar to rally against LGBTQ+ rights.
Anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment has reared its head since Senegalese football player Idrissa Gueye opted to skip a French league match where players wore rainbow-coloured uniforms in support of LGBTQ+ rights. He said it was for “personal reasons”, and that he did not want to validate the cause as it would be opposed to his religious beliefs.
Many Senegalese people supported Gueye’s decision and it sparked renewed hatred for the LGBT+ community in the country. Gueye went viral on social media with the hashtag, #jesuisidrissaganagueye (“I am Idrissa Gana Gueye” in French).
The president of Senegal Macky Sall has been vocal on his stance against LGBTQ+ rights and has reiterated that he would not decriminalise same-sex relations.