1 Jun 2022

Homophobic violence in Senegal targets visiting American man

It's alleged that over 100 people violently assaulted an American man and paraded him through the streets.


Three men have been arrested in the West African country of Senegal after video emerged of a suspected homophobic attack that left its American victim bloodied, robbed and paraded nearly naked through the streets.
Video of the assault, which occurred on May 17 in the capital city of Dakar, shows a crowd of nearly 100 people surrounding a man wearing only boxers and bleeding from his head. The crowd walks the man barefoot through the streets, hitting his back and head while two others keep a firm grasp on his wrists, preventing his escape.
Related: Gabon criminalized homosexuality & two men have already been arrested
People in the video can be heard calling the man a “dirty homosexual.” Others yell, “Homosexuality will not be accepted in Senegal,” “Let us kill him before the police arrive,” and, “He does not deserve to live.”
The victim was reportedly an American musician who came to Dakar to attend the Biennale, a contemporary art event, according to the Senegalese news site Seneweb. The U.S. embassy in the country hasn’t confirmed the suspected victim’s nationality.
The news site said that the attackers targeted the man, considering him gay because of his stylish clothing. The crowd then stripped him bare and stole his cell phone and other belongings before marching him to the local police station. He arrived covered in blood with injuries to his head and feet.
By May 23, police had investigated and announced the arrest of three individuals connected to the attack.
The predominantly Muslim country and former French colony punishes homosexuality with up to five years in prison. The country offers no LGBTQ civil rights protections. Its government and media are actively hostile to queerness, the U.S. State Department, the United Nations Human Rights Committee, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International have all found.
The local LGBTQ community is believed to have moved underground in response to the hostility. Police arrest any LGBTQ people who report themselves as the victims of hate crimes. Vigilante mobs also raid the homes of suspected queers. The suspects are then sent to police and held in jail without trial until their families pay for their release.
Anti-LGBTQ sentiment in the country has recently risen amid support for Idrissa Gueye, a Senegalese soccer player who chose to skip a recent French league match where players wore rainbow-colored uniforms to observe International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia.
Last December, Senegalese lawmakers announced their intent to introduce a bill doubling jail terms for convicted homosexuals from 5 years to 10 years. The announcement came after citizen protests called for increased penalties against LGBTQ people.
“We simply want the government to criminalize homosexuality just like they criminalized rape, like they criminalized cattle theft,” Ngoné Dia, a university student, told Voice of America (VOA).
One male protester proudly boasted to the VOA that he was ready to kill any homosexual he found.
“We want them to be imprisoned, even if it’s forever,” one woman told the media outlet. “Senegal is a homophobic country and we’re proud to say it.”


It's being reported by LGBTQ Nation that an American man has been subjected to a violent homophobic attack in Senegal.

According to the report, three men have been arrested in relation to the attack which allegedly took place on 17 May in Dakar - the capital city of Senegal.

Video footage purports to show around 100 people surrounding man wearing only boxer-short underwear. The crowd is forcing the man - who is bleeding from the head - to walk along the street, hitting him while he walks. The audio of the video records the crowd shouting homophobic slurs and threats of violence.

It's believed that the victim of the attack is an American musician who travelled to Dakar to attend an art event.

The US Embassy has not yet confirmed the victim's nationality or the details of the alleged attack.

Local police investigated and arrested three people in relation to the attack on the man.

What's life like for LGBTQ people in Senegal?

What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Senegal? Let’s take a look at some of the key equality indicators.

Is homosexuality legal in Senegal?

No. Same-sex sexual activity is illegal. It can be punished by imprisonment of up to five years.

Are there anti-discrimination protections in place for LGBTQ people in Senegal?

No. There are no protections against discrimination on the grounds of sexuality.

Is there Marriage Equality in Senegal?

No. There is no legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Senegal?

Senegal is a socially conservative country.Homophobia is systemic.

LGBTQ people conceal their sexuality.

There are numerous examples of LGBTQ people being persecuted and harassed.