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Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, A/HRC/13/30/Add.3, 8 February 2011, Senegal


I. Detentions on grounds of sexual orientation

72. The Working Group received information according to which officers of the National Police had detained persons on allegations of committing “unnatural sexual acts”. This was the case of four men arrested in the town of Darou Mousty, in the Louga region, on 19 June 2009. In another case in 2008, the Dakar Court of Appeal had set aside a judgment sentencing nine persons to eight years in prison.

73. No one was being detained for reasons of sexual orientation at the time of the Working Group’s visit.


81. However, the country has to confront a series of challenges, such as the shortage of criminal lawyers; the excessive proportion of detainees in pretrial detention; the long duration of pretrial detention in the majority of cases; the administrative detention of foreigners in police station cells after having served their sentence; the possible application of article 80 of the Criminal Code to journalists; the practice of the so-called “return by the prosecution”; or the detention of persons of different sexual orientation on the grounds of offending public decency. To these can be added the problem posed by prison overcrowding, though this is not excessive compared to other countries and the problem does not apply to Saint-Louis.


82.In the light of these conclusions, the Working Group recommends the Senegalese Government to:

(g) Pay particular attention to detentions on the grounds of offending decency or public morality, with a view to avoiding any possible discrimination against persons of a different sexual orientation.

Link to full text of the report: Mission report-WG Arbitrary Detention-Senegal-2011-eng