My friend and journalist Kelly Cogswell, who blogs from France at Kelly Sans Culotte and has an opinion column in Gay City News, writes the following, which I have taken the liberty to cross-post on this blog:
AIDES, one of Europe's largest HIV/AIDS organizations, is petitioning the government of Senegal to immediately free the 9 gay men condemned there to 8 years of prison on January 7th for "indecent conduct, acts against nature, and criminal association." All are HIV/AIDS workers. They were arrested on December 19th while meeting at the home of one of them, Diadji Diouf, president of AIDES Senegal. The petition also asks Senegal to decriminalize homosexuality by immediately scrapping article 319:3 of their penal code, which calls for 5 years of prison for anyone who "commits indecent acts or acts against nature with a person of their own sex".Related
Human Rights Watch, which is also asking for their release and the repeal of Senegal’s sodomy law, says that the men have been reportedly beaten while in detention [read HRW's statement on the Senegal 9].
The petition (in French) is really easy to sign.
First click here: Then scroll to the bottom and click on the text "SIGNEZ LA PETITION" (Sign the Petition). On the window that will open, write your first name ("PRENOM"), last name ("NOM"), and email address ("VOTRE ADRESSE EMAIL"). Ignore the space for a message -- it doesn't seem to work. Then click below on "ENVOYER" (Send).
Congrats. You're helping to save queer lives.
- 9 men jailed in Senegal for homosexual acts (Associated Press, Jan. 8, 2009)