Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Thursday, January 8, 2009

8 Years in Jail for Being Gay

Just when I thought things were taking a turn for the better in Africa (find out whats happening in South Africa) I learn this. In the country of Senegal nine gay men have been convicted for eight years for "criminal conspiracy and engaging in acts against the order of nature." According to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, the attorney for these men was allowed little access to the files of the individuals and no time to prepare for the case.

The arrest of the nine men happened on December 19, 2008 when police invaded the home of Diadji Diouf. Diouf is the head of AIDES Senegal, an AIDS Service organization in Senegal that provides HIV prevention services for gay men. He and eight guests were arrested and detained.

What adds insult to injury regarding this case, the maximum sentence for men found guilty on these charges should be five years. But because these men were working for or associated with an AIDS organization, an additional three years was added to the sentencing. Being apart of this criminal group allowed the court to add these years for criminal conspiracy.

Last year the UN called for a global decriminalization of homosexuality. This case is the pefect example of why this needs to happen. Yes - I get pissed every day that I can't marry my partner and that we still have to live with the ignorance and homophobia of the masses. But damn, atleast we won't be imprisoned for our "indecent" and "unnatural" acts.

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