Words of Hate, Climate of Fear: Human Rights Violations and Challenges to the LGBT Movement in Senegal

Date: Monday, February 8, 2010
Time: 6:00-7:30pm
Location: Room C198, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

On February 1, 2008, the Senegalese tabloid Icone published photographs of a same-sex wedding, triggering a massive anti-gay backlash in Senegal. Over the past two years, this backlash has escalated rapidly. In addition to arrest and detention under Article
319 – which penalizes homosexuality with up to five years in prison – lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people face expulsion from their families and communities, persecution from the media and religious leaders, and harassment and violence at the hands of anti-gay mobs.

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has documented these violations and their impact on LGBT communities in its new report, Words of Hate, Climate of Fear: Human Rights Violations and Challenges to the LGBT Movement in Senegal. Using testimonies from activists, former detainees, and local media coverage, the 49-page report and accompanying audio profiles from None on Record powerfully describe how homophobia and transphobia are making life impossible for LGBT people across Senegal.

Join IGLHRC for a panel discussion of LGBT rights in Senegal, and how human rights violations are affecting LGBT organizing and responses to HIV vulnerability among men who have sex with men in the country.

Panelists include:

•       Selly Thiam, oral historian and director of None on Record
•       Tonia Poteat, PhD candidate, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
•       Pape Mbaye, Senegalese LGBT activist and entertainer
•       Cary Alan Johnson, Executive Director, IGLHRC
•       Tokes Osubu, Executive Director of Gay Men of African Descent


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