Fear in Senegal as presidential election stirs up homophobia

DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Senegal’s gay community is on edge as the country heads into presidential elections this weekend, with a tradition of candidates flaunting anti-gay views to gain support.

Local media reported this week that a gay man was beaten to death in a suburb of the capital, Dakar, which one activist said was linked to the political climate. Police declined to comment.

Since the start of campaign season several candidates have declared they were not supported by gays and one insulted an opponent by calling him gay, local LGBT+ activists said.

“Every time there’s an electoral campaign in Senegal it is a problem for the LGBT community,” said Djamil Bangoura, head of the Senegalese LGBT+ support group Association Prudence.

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