Senegal turns down bid to toughen strict anti-LGBT law

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Senegalese lawmakers have stopped the passing to parliamentary vote a draft bill that sought to toughen already severe laws against same-sex relations.

This action was taken on Tuesday, January 4.

Gay sex is punishable by up to five years in prison in Senegal, where arrests and prosecutions have risen sharply, according to a 2020 global review by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

However, in December, a group of lawmakers drafted a new bill to lengthen prison terms to up to 10 years and criminalise LGBT+ activities specifically. The current law targets anyone who commits an “act against nature” with persons of the same gender.

According to the statement released, the lawmakers in the bureau of the national assembly, who decide which draft laws will be put to parliament’s vote, have rejected the proposed bill.

The existing legislation is sufficiently clear and the resultant penalties are severe, it stated.