Thursday, February 28, 2008

Talking Out Loud 2008 and more...

Gay Africans Flee Senegal

More disturbing news from Senegal. Reportedly "dozens" of gays flee to neighboring countries after weeks of anti-gay riots.
Afrol News, a Norwegian news service that monitors Africa, reports "dozens of Senegalese homosexuals have fled to ... The Gambia and Mali to escape the looming threats on their lives. [However] Gambia may not be a safe hideout for homosexuals, considering President Yahya Jammeh's personal hatred of homosexuality. He had earlier threatened to crush any act of homosexuality in the country."
As previously reported on Rod 2.0, the president of The Gambia has also been criticized by the world community for sensational claims that he can "cure" HIV/AIDS.
Last week, riot police were forced to disperse tear gas at hundreds of anti-gay protesters who rioted outside Dakar's largest mosque. The crowds, led by influential Muslim cleric and lawmaker Imam Mbaye Niang, were outraged after the arrest and release of five men accused of participating in a same-sex wedding.
Senegal is a predominantly Muslim country and, although only rarely enforced, homosexual acts are prohibited under law. In recent weeks, clerics are demanding a roundup of any known homosexuals as the nation will host some 40 heads of state and prominent religious leaders at the 11th summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on March 8 to 14 in Dakar.
Dakar will also host the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa in December 2008. Some analysts believe the arrests were a potential source of embarrassment for a nation which boasted one of Africa's few official HIV/AIDS plans targeting men who have sex with men.

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