A man in Senegal who was jailed for four years for having gay sex is now not going to get help from human rights organizations to free him because their offers of assistance were rejected.
GSN understands it was Tamsir Jupiter Ndiaye’s family and lawyer who turned down help from human rights organizations to appeal his case.
Three human rights bodies publicly said they wanted to help Ndiaye appeal against his prison sentence.
The noted journalist and employee of UNESCO was sentenced on 24 October to a four year prison term without parole, for having gay sex and causing grievous bodily harm to Matar Diop Diagne, who was convicted of committing ‘acts against nature’ and sentenced for a three year prison sentence without parole.
The two men were caught by the police after a fight broke out when Diagne demanded payment for sex and was then stabbed by Ndiaye.
The media in Senegal, a conservative Muslim country, has been hyping up the incident, causing widespread moral panic and anti-gay rhetoric.
Judge Moustapha Seye director of human rights within the ministry of justice of Senegal has argued recently on national TV recently that Senegal should have much more leniency towards gay people.
However, Imam Baba Sow, a prominent Muslim cleric responded ‘the place of homosexuals is in hell.
‘No religion endorses it.’
The imam invited Ndiaye to ‘question’ his sexuality.
‘Moreover as a Muslim or a believer, I invite him to repent and ask pardon of Senegal,’ he added.
Both men have become social outcasts and labelled by the press as ‘socially dead’, the stigma in Senegal about homosexuality is extremely negative.
Ndiaye has started serving his sentence, sharing his prison cell with Cheikh Yérim Seck, also a journalist, who is serving a prison sentence for raping a young woman.
The Senegalese press have reported that Ndiaye, in desperation, has started to pray constantly to Allah to repent for his sins.
Alioune Tine, president of the African Assembly for the Defence of Human Rights (RADDHO), Seydi Gassama, president of Amnesty International – Senegal and Assane Dioma Ndiaye, president of the League of Senegalese human right (LSDH) have written a public statement that they wish to help have the judgement against Ndiaye repealed.
However, it seems that the social pressure and stigma have prevented the organizations from being involved; Khassimou Touré, Ndiaye’s lawyer rejected their appeal saying: ‘If the human rights organizations get involved in the process, I’m out.
‘This is not a personal question, but of principle. I am a man of principle. If the formalities were met, I would have no problem with them helping the process. I am not challenging anyone. My client Tamsir Jupiter Ndiaye has renewed his confidence in me.’
The family is also reported as rejecting the calls of human rights groups which said they would respect their wishes and not get involved.
Speaking with Gay Star News, Omar Kuddus, an openly gay Muslim LGBT rights advocate, based in the UK, said: ‘The Imam’s statements further show that persecution of gay Senegalese does not stop even when they are imprisoned.
‘Such pressures does not only affect Ndiaye but bring stigma and shame on the family that, as a result, help from human rights organizations has been declined.
‘The shame and further persecution on the grounds of religious beliefs and morality must stop, they run against the universal declaration of human rights.
‘As a fellow gay Muslim I am appalled by this moral hysteria which interferes with justice and Ndiaye’s human rights.’