Freed Gay Activists Flee Senegal Lynch Mob

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2009 7:50 PM CDT
Senegalese women from a womens group that does AIDS education and testing, walk in a parade in Dakar, Senegal Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
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(Newser) – Gay AIDS activists in Senegal are fleeing a mob that vows to turn them into "fish food," GlobalPost reports. Arrested late last year, the nine activists were sentenced to 8-year terms for “indecent acts against nature," but an appeals court freed them early this week. Now social conservatives plan to hunt them down. “In our society, homosexuality will never be accepted,” said one religious leader and lawmaker.

Health and human rights organizations fear for the men, but also for HIV/AIDS work in Senegal. "It will take time" before workers "can go about their AIDS prevention work in safe conditions,” said activist Daouda Diouf, who hopes Senegal will become more accepting of gays. But getting the activists past police and airport staff, and out of the country, is his immediate problem. “They are in danger,” he said.