SENEGAL – 07 July 2009: The Senegalese gay community was shocked beyond words as the body of a gay man was exhumed from the local cemetery of Thiès, 70 km East of Dakar, dragged in the streets before being dropped in the courtyard of his family home by an angry mob who vowed that they will not have a gay man buried in their graveyard.
The corpse of Madièye Diallo, a gay man whose sexual orientation was well known in the area was, according to sources, exhumed for the second time by alleged homophobic community members who asked his family to bury him elsewhere.
Diallo’s friend who chose to remain anonymous said Diallo was an active member in the local branch of And Legeey, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) organisation well known in the country and that he was in charge of organising events and meetings.
He added that the family does not want to say where they eventually buried Diallo for fear of more harassment.
The friend further explained that Diallo was an icon of gay people in Senegal after his photograph was largely disseminated by the media following an alleged gay marriage, which received huge media coverage.
Fearing for his life, he left the country and sought refuge in Mali.
He eventually came back, living between the two countries until he got sick and died.
“I spoke to his family and now they just want things to calm down before deciding what to do” the said.
Meanwhile four gay men have been arrested in Touba, 194 km East of Dakar, during the first week of June.
Just after their arrest, one of the most prominent religious leaders was heard on a local radio station saying that they [religious authorities] will do their own justice.
While no one knows the exact details of the men’s arrests, a source known to Behind the Mask said people don’t want to get involved because they fear the power of religious leaders in that predominantly Muslim area.