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International News - Rex Wockner
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International News

by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

Christmas Eve Homosexuality arrests in Senegal
Twenty-four men were arrested at a house in Saly, Senegal, on Christmas Eve for 'homosexual activities,' local media said. They were held overnight and may face prosecution.

Evidence collected by police included cosmetics, wigs, condoms and lube.

Having Gay sex in Senegal can lead to imprisonment for up to five years.

In August, two men from the town of Darou Mousty were convicted of sexual acts "against nature" and jailed for two and five years respectively after neighbors claimed they were having Gay sex.

Numerous other men have been arrested since early 2008 for "crimes" variously called "homosexuality," "incitement to debauchery," "corruption of good behavior," "acts against the order of nature," "indecent conduct" and "homosexual marriage," according to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

Last May, Prime Minister Souleymane Ndéné Ndiaye called homosexuality "a sign of a crisis of values," IGLHRC said.

Georgian Gay group raided, Gay leader held for two weeks
The Gay group Inclusive Foundation was raided by police in Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec. 15 and the organization's leader, Paata Sabelashvili, was jailed for two weeks.

Gay activists in Western Europe say the group remains under surveillance and that its phones are tapped.

"We are very concerned with the way the police forces treated the staff of the Inclusive Foundation and with the damage they caused to the office," said Martin K.I. Christensen of the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. "The other worry is that Georgian police still monitor the office and that other leaders of the Inclusive Foundation, Tinatin Japaridze and Eka Agdgomelashvili, continue to be under police surveillance."

The raiding officers did not wear uniforms, identify themselves, produce a search warrant or explain the raid, activists said.

The officers confiscated cell phones and denounced members of the Women's Club, who were meeting at the time, as "perverts," "sick people" and "Satanists," activists said.

Police threatened to out the women and threatened to kill Agdgomelashvili when she would not stop demanding a search warrant and the officers' identification documents.

Inclusive Foundation leaders say they are constantly followed by "cars full of men without uniform" and that "one such car is permanently stationed outside the entrance to the house of one of the staff members."

Belarusian activists fined for picket at Iranian Embassy
Three members of GayBelarus were fined a total of about $467 Dec. 23 for picketing the Iranian Embassy in Minsk to protest Iran's treatment of Gay people.

Sergey Androsenko was fined $307 for organizing an unauthorized protest and Sergey Praded was fined $123 for taking part in it. A third participant was fined $37.

An embassy employee testified that among the people handed protest material was the Iranian ambassador himself.

Androsenko said his fine was unusually harsh for nations of the former Soviet Union and equals one month's worth of his salary. "I am going to appeal for review ... to the U.N. Human Rights Committee," he said. "It will reveal the roughness of Belarusian legislation to issues of organizing such actions and restrictions on expressing one's own thought."

"The world can't hear the voice of Iranian Gays, who are being executed," he added. "We, activists of LGBT movement, have to become this voice."

With assistance from Bill Kelley

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picture: Iran protest in Minsk
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