Man’s body exhumed and burned publicly in the street ‘because he was gay’
Four men have been arrested after a man’s body was exhumed and set on fire in Senegal.
The body of 31-year-old Cheikh Fall, who was buried last Friday (27 October), was burned in the streets of Kaolack, a town in the West African country.
Fall’s family reportedly tried to arrange a burial in the nearby town of Touba – a holy city of the Islamic Mouride brotherhood, but after authorities rejected it over the Fall’s perceived sexuality, the family were forced to bury him closer to their home.
After members of the local community again objected to it, a secret burial was performed at the Léona Niassene cemetery in Kaolack, Metro reports.
Just a day later, Fall’s body was exhumed and set alight.
Footage of a large crowd assembled around the body has shocked the predominantly anti-LGBTQ+ country, which is considered one of the worst places to be queer in the world.
“These extremely serious acts, which amount to barbarism, challenge the authorities and cannot go unpunished,” Kaolack public prosecutor’s office head, Abasse Yaya Wane, said in a statement.
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Amnesty International’s Senegal chapter condemned the incident, saying that the crowd had violated “the dignity of the deceased and his family.”
In Senegal, same-sex activity is illegal for both men and women with punishments of up to five years imprisonment.
During a demonstration in February 2022, where protestors called for harsher punishments for LGBTQ+ people, a university student, Ngoné Dia, said: “We want them to be imprisoned, even if it’s forever. Senegal is a homophobic country and we’re proud to say it.”
Several months following the protest, in May, an American man visiting Senegal was brutally attacked by a crowd of nearly 100 people in what is considered to be a homophobic attack.
A video surfaced showing the man, half naked, barefoot and bleeding, engulfed by an angry crowd and being paraded through the streets as they shouted homophobic slurs.
It is believed the man was targeted because of how he was dressed. The crowd marched him to the police station while screaming: “Let us kill him before the police arrive… He does not deserve to live.”
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