News (World)

Senegal judge frees women accused of violating law banning homosexual acts

DAKAR, Senegal — A judge in Senegal says there is insufficient evidence to convict four women accused of violating the country’s law banning homosexual acts.

SenegalAdama Traore announced the verdict and freed the women Wednesday morning.

The four women were arrested Nov. 11 at a restaurant in Dakar’s Yoff district. Among them was an assistant director of Women’s Smile, the only group in Senegal devoted specifically to advocating for lesbians’ rights.

Police said the women had been kissing in public, something they denied in court on Monday — noting that such behavior would surely have elicited a hostile response from other diners.

Homosexual acts are punishable in Senegal by up to five years in prison.

A fifth woman arrested in the same raid is a minor and will be tried separately.

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