Senegal LGBT Laws

Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

Consensual sex between same-sex couples is unlawful [R1.1].

Penal Code (LOI DE BASE Nº 65-60 DU 21 JUILLET 1965 PORTANT CODE PENAL) 90 91

Article 319:3. “Without prejudice to the more serious penalties provided for in the preceding paragraphs or by articles 320 and 321 of this Code, whoever will have committed an improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sex will be punished by imprisonment of between one and five years and by a fine of 100,000 to 1,500,000 francs. If the act was committed with a person below the age of 21, the maximum penalty will always be applied.”

Original French text:

Article 319:3. “Sans préjudice des peines plus graves prévues par les alinéas qui précédent ou par les articles 320 et 321 du présent Code, sera puni d’un emprisonnement d’un à cinq ans et d’une amende de 100.000 à 1.500.000 francs, quiconque aura commis un acte impudique ou contre nature avec un individu de son sexe. Si l’acte a été commis avec un mineur de 21 ans, le maximum de la peine sera toujours prononcé.” [R0.1].

In February 2008, seven men were arrested on suspicion of homosexuality after photos of a ‘gay marriage ceremony’ appeared in a local magazine. They were subsequently released from prison [R1.1].

2. Courts & Tribunals

On 22 August 2015, BBCnews reported that a court in Dakar jailed seven men for six months after they were found guilty of homosexuality, police having caught the men having sex during a raid [R2.8].

On 31 July 2015, Tamsir Jupiter Ndiaye a well-known Senegalese journalist was sentenced Friday to six months in prison for acts of homosexuality. Ndiaye was sentenced in 2012 to 4 years in prison for acts of homosexuality, illegal possession of arms and battery. The sentence was later reduced to 2 years and he was paroled in 2013 [R2.7].

On 31 January 2014, two gay men from Dakar admitted to having sexual relations and Judge Racky Deme being found them guilty of committing ‘an improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sex’, sentencing both to six months in jail [R2.6].

On 24 October 2012, noted journalist and employee of UNESCO Jupiter Tamsir Ndiaye was sentenced 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 [R2.5].

In August 2009, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) reported that a 17-year-old boy was due to face trial for “acts against nature”. Two other men were convicted of identical charges on August 10th and were sentenced to two and five years in prison respectively [R2.4].

In April 2009, Dakar’s court of appeal ordered the convictions against nine men in Senegal who were sentenced to eight years in prison for “indecent conduct and unnatural acts” be overturned. It was argued that there was no material proof for the accusations, no specific complainant had filed charges against the men and that the time of their arrests (after 10pm) was illegal [R2.3].


In January 2009, the jailing in Senegal of nine gay men for eight years over “indecent conduct and unnatural acts” was condemned by an international gay rights group [R2.2].

In August 2008, a 61-year-old Belgian and his 63-year-old Senegalese husband were sentenced to two years in jail for “homosexual marriage and acts against nature” [R2.1].

R0.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R1.1 MCV: Sengal Seven Released 14 FEB 08
R2.8 BBCnews: Senegal jails seven men for ‘being gay’ 22 AUG 15
R2.7 StarTribune: Senegal court sentences journalist to 6 months in jail for acts of homosexuality 31 JUL 15
R2.6 GayStarNews: Two men jailed in Senegal under anti-gay law 01 FEB 14
R2.5 GayStarNews: Senegal men jailed for gay sex 24 OCT 12
R2.4 17-year-old faces homosexuality trial in Senegal 21 AUG 09
R2.3 Senegal overturns ‘gay’ jail terms 20 MAR 09
R2.2 MCV: Senegal 9 Jailed for Indecent Acts 22 JAN 09
R2.1 Belgian Married Gay Couple Jailed in Senegal for “Acts Against Nature” 29 AUG 08