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Page last updated at 17:56 GMT, Monday, 4 May 2009 18:56 UK

'Gay man' disinterred in Senegal

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The body of a man believed to be homosexual has twice been dug up from a Muslim cemetery in Senegal.

The man, in his 30s, was first buried on Saturday before residents of the western town of Thies dug up his body and left it near his grave, police say.

His family then reburied him, but he was once more exhumed by people who did not want him buried there. His body was dumped outside the family house.

Senegal outlaws homosexual acts but there is a tradition of effeminate men.

A police officer told the AFP news agency that the body was eventually buried away from the cemetery.

The state-owned Le Soleil newspaper reports that it was buried within the grounds of the family home.

"Goor-jiggen" (men-women) dress up as women, socialise with females and have long been tolerated in Senegal, a majority Muslim country. However, attitudes seem to be changing.

The AFP news agency reports that local imams, as well as some newspapers and radio stations, have denounced homosexuals after an appeals court last month overturned the conviction of nine people for homosexual acts.

They had been sentenced to eight years in jail after being found guilty of "indecent conduct and unnatural acts".

The men, who were part of an HIV/Aids group, were arrested in December at a flat in a suburb of the capital, Dakar.

In February 2008, the editor of a magazine in Senegal received death threats after publishing pictures claiming to depict a wedding ceremony between two men.



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