Two Stories: Police Power, Public Panic, and Ruined Lives
The "Gay Marriage" Scandal
The "Nine Homosexuals of Mbao"
A Canvas of Abuse: Arbitrary Arrests, Community Violence
Arbitrary Arrest and Abuse by the Police
Violence by Non-State Actors
"In Senegal, You Don't Need Proof, Only Suspicions"
Suspicion and Secrecy
Strategies for Passing
The Cultural Value of Privacy
Promoting Fear: The Role of Religious Leaders and the Media
A Campaign against Homosexuals
The Changing Religious Landscape
The Role of Religious Leaders Condemning Homosexuality
The Role of the Media in the Escalation of the Violence
HIV/AIDS and Homosexual Conduct in Senegal
The Effect of Violence on HIV/AIDS Outreach
Voices of HIV-Positive Gay Men
Relevant International and Senegalese Legal Standards
Glossary of Terms
"Violence against people on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender expression escalated in Senegal starting in early 2008. Men who identify as or are perceived to be gay have become targets of popular vengeance and arbitrary arrests. Abuses have included police beatings and arbitrary detention; physical threat, assault, and verbal abuse by private individuals; and blackmail, extortion, and robbery. Although recent panics over homosexuality cast it as a new and foreign phenomenon in Senegal, all anecdotal and documentary evidence suggests that same-sex relations between men as well as women have long existed in Senegalese society, even if the terms have changed over time. What is new is the manipulation of anti-gay sentiment by some Senegalese political and religious leaders, which has fed an upsurge in private actor violence. Some religious leaders and Senegalese media have contributed to the upsurge by giving prominent coverage to the hate-mongering and offering virtually no counter-narrative. Fear for Life helps fill that gap, revealing the impact of violence on individual lives and examining some of the underlying causes of the current intolerance. The report looks in detail at two key incidents--the 'gay marriage' scandal of February 2008 and the arrest of the 'nine homosexuals of Mbao' in December 2008--and examines several other cases that show the climate of fear and suspicion in which these attacks take place. It concludes with a call to Senegalese authorities to uphold the fundamental rights of all persons, end impunity for perpetrators of attacks, and promote a culture of tolerance."--P.  of cover.