Mobs in Senegal Dig Up Dead Gays, Desecrate the Bodies

Back in May 2009 I posted about the body of a man suspected to be gay which was exhumed from a cemetery in Senegal because people didn't want it buried there. Madieye Diallo's (pictured) body was reportedly dumped in front of the family home. Diallo died because his health failed when he stopped taking his HIV medication. He had stopped taking the medication because he was in hiding during an anti-gay witchhunt after photos of a gay wedding were published in a local tabloid.

Senegal A new article by the AP revisits that story and reports that gays continue to be exhumed in that country, and their bodies desecrated:

"To the long list of abuse meted out to suspected homosexuals in Africa, Senegal has added a new form of degradation – the desecration of their bodies.

In the past two years, at least four men suspected of being gay have been exhumed by angry mobs in cemeteries in Senegal. The violence is especially shocking because Senegal, unlike other countries in the region, is considered a model of tolerance.

'It's jarring to see this happen in Senegal,' says Ryan Thoreson, a fellow at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission who has been researching the rise of homophobia here. 'When something like this happens in an established democracy, it's alarming.'

Even though homosexuality is illegal in Senegal, colonial documents indicate the country has long had a clandestine gay community."

Senegal  As for what happened to Diallo, the exhumation and desecration of his body was captured on video and posted online:

"The shaky image shows a group of men jerking around the edges of the grave. One of them straddles the pit and shovels away the fine gray dirt until you can see the shrouded body. It's still inside the trough when they tie a rope around its feet.

They yank it out, cheering as the body bends over the lip of the grave. The shroud catches on the ground and tears off, revealing the dead man's torso.

Rassul Djitte, 48, watched from behind the wall of a nearby school. He had not known Diallo personally, but says he felt a stab. "'People were rejoicing,' he says. 'They dragged him past me and his body left tracks in the sand. Like a car passing through snow.'"


  1. says

    Like a car passing through snow.

    I’m over helping Africa. Now Product Red shit. No Raising Malawi. I’m gonna start protesting funds that go to Africa. Make signs that say, “God hates Funds that go to Africa.” It’s not as catchy as “God Hates Fags,” but I’ll put glitter on it or something…

  2. Jim says

    The Africans are, by and large, helpless victims of poverty and ignorance and easily exploited by forces of the religious right, from the US as well as Africa. Their social ignorance and lack of even the most basic education leads to something like this. The culture is stuck back in the slave era. There’s no hope for gays in Africa except to somehow get the hell out. And meanwhile, everything that can be done in the US to expose the US/Africa homophobia connection must be done. Since we can’t go over to Senegal to protest, we can at least call out the Christian US Senators and figures that promote this kind of ghastly violence.

  3. Brian in Texas says

    These same type of ugly acts happen in certain countries of the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. They just go unreported and are usually in countries that don’t have a free press. This is what happens when you have religion woven into a government or leaders who decry their gay citizens.

  4. veg says

    The white gay racism of the first 3 comments is astounding and disgusting.

    Hello! Racism is just as bad as homophobia, idiots.

    AFRICA is a HUGE continent, not a country, with thousands of diverse ethnic groups.

    If you heard about homophobic Italians, would you damn all Europeans?

    Hundreds of LGBT people get beaten and many killed in America each year. So should be “nuke” America (like the presumably white gay racist said to nuke Senegal)?

    A few white gay men feel like you/we aren’t accountable for saying bigoted things. Well your gayness does not excuse you.

    NO: Africans are not any more “primitive,” “ignorant” or backward than any other massive group of people or any other continent.

    Homophobia was not always high among Africans. Read “Boy-Wives and Female Husbands: Studies of African Homosexualities” by Will Roscoe and Stephen O. Murray.

    But, in the post-80s AIDS era, new American and European missionary work has given birth to new forms of anti-LGBT hatred. (Jim, the commenter here, was somewhat right, but his patronizing remarks about Africans is off-base).

    Please stop being typical, ignorant, racist white affluent gays who demonstrate a complete dearth of knowledge about cultures outside your own.

    It’s not cute and you just look like dumb, redneck bigots. But then again: perhaps you WANT to be racist.

  5. romeo says

    Even desecrating graves? Sorry, but these are a degraded and worthless people. They have no future in the world that is coming. As for the gay haters here in America, it seems ironic that they can’t even grant the possibility that we are born the way we are despite overwhelming evidence and are a natural part of Nature, but they apparently do think that gay people are born without trigger fingers.

  6. yonkersconquers says

    I conclude that there are trolls posting here pretending to be gay men. How else to explain the racist, reactionary comments posted to this thread?

    What happened in Senegal is repulsive. It’s hard to know what they were even ”rejoicing” over. A corpse? The symbolism? An exorcism?

    If you can bring yourself to look past the horror of it, what they’re parading in victory starts to look like total, tragic defeat.

    Poor Senegal. What a terrifying, tragic place.

  7. veg says


    Wow, you sure sound like a disgusting bigot. So Africans are “degarded and worthless people” but all other homophobes in the US and elsewhere get off the hook?

    Quite frankly, you don’t sound any better than the hateful people reported upon in the post.

    When will all the hatefullness–the homophobia AND the racism/classicism–end?

  8. SFshawn says

    It’s amazing to what evil depths our fellow humans will go to express their hatred towards their fellow man. Peace to those individuals and their families who are persecuted by these subhuman animals.

  9. says

    1: The racism doesn’t surprise me at all. I’d be surprised if the trolls didn’t show up first.

    2: This kind of stuff doesn’t just happen. Furthermore, no poor person is sitting around and making a decision, ” do I go out and hustle up some food for my family, or, do I go out and dig up graves of Gay people?” Someone with money organized this. That leaves Warlord types who are really more concerned with illegal mineral trading ,or, Churches. I’m willing to bet it’s Churches with Western backing. No way does any person think it’s fun to go dig up a smelly dead body on a typical afternoon. UNLESS, they are getting something in return. All of this anti-Gay in Africa only recently started. Doesn’t that tell you that someone is behind it?

    3: The barbarism here is oddly Western in the way that it goes against everything in African culture when it comes to the dead. If anything, if these people were holding true to their tribal beliefs, a dead body would NEVER be bothered as the spirits would unleash all holy hell on them.

    4: I am not excusing these idiots, however, something smells rotten in Denmark.

    Btw, you racist trolls probably aren’t even Gay. Or, should I say openly Gay. May I suggest you set up an Adam4Adam account so you can see peen and really hate yourself for what you obviously want. Black dick.

  10. romeo says

    @Veg: I appreciate your desire to instill fairness here. But at this site, concern for gays is the focus, and in this instance, African gays. The damning evidence of cruelty and murder of gays in Africa is overwhelming. You can try, but I see little possible in the way of defense of this behavior. Africa’s culture is its fate – in the classic tragic sense.
    As for me and the non-privileged “white boy” life of discrimination and rejection I have had, well, I GIVE AS GOOD AS I GET.

  11. Chitown Kev says

    @Derek Washington

    Thank you.

    In many traditional cultures, stuff like digging up and descreating graves is some serious shit that can bring the wrath of the gods on you.

    It’s entirely inconsistent with tribal beliefs in Africaand many other places.

  12. romeo says

    And for the record, who are the trolls here? The criticism here has been about behavior and culture. No one on this thread defends bigotry from ANYONE. I am not a racist. Skin color is not the enemy; behavior is. You’re excusing this behavior because the perpetrators are black. What does that say about your attitude toward black people? There is racism here, but it’s not from me.

  13. sal(yes the original) says

    one would think these african citizens would do something productive with themselves,there are SOOOO many issues that need tackling on that continent,talk about waste of time…my friends aunt had to flee that continent this year cause they were going to burn her ALIVE!!!sick!!!

  14. sal(yes the original) says

    @tank not just gay citizens,their own people they do some sick things too (and all the tools who say its racist to point this out where have you guys been all this time,havent you looked at the news coming outta there?thinking that mutilating young girls is cool and raping virgins will cure em of hiv and the HORROR stories of disturbing war rapes etc this is not racism this is a problem our innocent black african brothers and sisters face by their own

  15. sal(yes the original) says

    ..just look at all the african refugees fleeing their own country cause people dont know how to live with each other…albinos are killed cause the look diff,children/older folks are killed cause they are thought to be witches….sick sick sick and if you excuse this with the simple “racist!!!”talk i have no time for that

  16. sal(yes the original) says


  17. TANK says

    Well, it covers up the real human rights violations, sal. To refuse to hold people accountable for their behavior because they’re ignorant or bigoted in some way, were exploited in the past, or believe in magic, is just as good as excusing them for their evil acts. It’s the new holocaust denying, because its intent is to keep people from talking about the suffering of others. No one wants to be branded a “racist”–and not for any GOOD reason, either (they don’t want to be perceived that way by others instead of actually disagreeing with racist beliefs). Of course, we can condemn these barbaric practices without resorting to racism, and we should. But the people responsible for virgin rape, female genital mutilation, forced rapes as conversion therapy, albino killing because of beliefs in magic, and the wholesale slaughter of gays…are not reasonable people, and cannot be reasoned with. They either need to be threatened or destroyed to get them to stop.

  18. TampaZeke says

    In my opinion, those who are claiming that the shameful actions of these people means that all Africans are savages are being racist and ignorant. These people do not represent all, or most Africans.

    Likewise, those who seem to be claiming that the people who did this disgraceful thing aren’t savages simply because they are African, or because there is homophobia in other parts of the world too, or because the word “savages” has an ugly racist associated past, are being apologists and equally as ignorant. The people who did this disgraceful deed, by the very definition of the word, are most certainly savages.

  19. Lexxvs says

    After reading such barbarisms happening –even beyond the Nazi’s wildest dreams- I can only assert that ignorance is a bliss. Otherwise one should be tempted to hate humanity. I hope the perpetrators have some day what they deserve. Now that I remember, it’s Africa. Certainly they will have what they deserve. I mean, much more.

  20. JT says

    When I read stories like this I get mixed feelings. Of course it’s horrible to me, but how much should we be criticizing or imposing our “western” standards on others? I just don’t know. I do wish more countries would provide safe haven for gays from Senegal and other African countries though. For the ones that want to leave, anyway. Maybe some wouldn’t want to leave, since they ARE Senegalese too, even if so many of their own countrymen turn against them.

  21. GrabbinNewscum says

    >>Of course it’s horrible to me, but how much should we be criticizing or imposing our “western” standards on others?

    Uh, there’s nothing “western” about demanding human rights and civility. It should be a common value of all humanity, regardless of nationality or geography.

    Please stop with the relativistic pomo bullshit.

  22. JT says

    P.S. I also think the Saudi Arabian practice of chopping off hands for stealing is barbaric. But is it for me to say “no, you can’t do that anymore”?

  23. TANK says

    If you’re serious about that inquiry, JT, then you aren’t serious about ethics. Ethics is distinct from morality–distinct from a culture, group, time, and place. You don’t even understand relativism, either, apparently. It’s common. Most people are entirely ignorant about what right and wrong mean.

  24. TANK says

    “P.S. I also think the Saudi Arabian practice of chopping off hands for stealing is barbaric. But is it for me to say ‘no, you can’t do that anymore’?”

    This is a good example of bad thinking. I think it’s fair to say that if someone thinks of a practice as barbaric, then they believe it’s wrong. So, we have a person who thinks that a practice is wrong, yet is unsure about whether it would be right to end that practice that they believe is wrong. That either reflects that the person doesn’t really believe that the practice is wrong, OR that they don’t know the proper way to use the concept and don’t understand what ‘wrong’ means.

    Also, since when does someone saying that something’s right make it so? Is it right to rape someone simply because someone thinks it’s right? No… This invalid inference from belief that a certain situation’s right or wrong to it actually being right or wrong parallels a person believing that two and two is five to it actually being five… Vulgar relativism, and stupid people…exhausting.

  25. Lester says

    These people who did that are detestable animals. This has nothing to do with race or skin color, and oh go STFU you queens bitching about “cultural difference”.

    The most monstrous thing I’ve read in ages. Sickened and sad- look at that handsome guy in the pic , and to know even his body can’t RIP- that is sheer bestial hatred. And the “people” who did this are beasts. But even beasts wouldn’t be so sickeningly evil.

  26. JT says

    Tank : You sound like an arrogant Western colonialist. Of COURSE you’re superior to those dark-continent savages. What YOU think is right or wrong MUST be imposed on them.

  27. JT says

    That’s right don’t forget it! The only case that made Towleroad known to the general public and helped bring down John Edwards. But this Senegal tragedy case report is not the place for me to continue on the Duke case.

  28. Tom says

    Yes, Derrick, it’s always Whitey’s fault. Poor Africans can’t think for themselves and are done in when Whitey’s Western churches come a callin’. Fuck you.

  29. Rin says

    Having been to Africa, those saying they are exploited by the religious right…ya’ll got it wrong. The anti-gay hysteria is NOT about Christianity. It is about misogyny. Men are supposed to be “men”. It has always had a very masculine, male-dominated culture and despises what it perceives as a change. “Masculine” gays, as they perceive it, IE the “tops” are not treated like the rest. Religion is ancillary to this historical bias, and it is ugly. Women are treated just as badly for doing things we in the West would consider normal. This is about a fear of “softness”–or what they perceive as such, and boy is it ugly.

  30. jamal49 says

    Africa is not a country. It is a continent in which there are a multitude of independent countries, in which live a diversity of races and religions.

    Senegal is but one country amongst many countries located on the continent of Africa. Some of Senegal’s citizens have displayed a conduct most barbaric and cruel by exhuming and desecrating the bodies of Madieye Diallo and others.

    One looks at the poignant photograph of a young and smiling Mr. Diallo and one feels a profound sense of pain and despair that such hateful things can still occur in the 21st century.

    One poster mentioned an excellent book, “Boy-Wives and Female Husbands: Studies of African Homosexualities”, which refutes the christian homophobes in some African countries, as well as other countries like the U.S., that homosexuality has no history in Africa except as a remnant of European colonialism.

    Homophobia in African countries has been fueled mostly by evangelical colonialists who have exploited the poverty, ignorance and inequalities of many African societies.

    The resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism with its own record of violent homophobia and the Islamists’ conflicts with christian adherents can also be blamed.

    Some governments and regimes in African countries have a taken advantage of such conditions to divert attention away from their own rampant corruption and bad governance by providing a convenient scapegoat for the seemingly insurmountable problems that many African nations face.

    One cannot look at these events in Africa and be self-righteously judgmental without looking at the have similar homophobia and related acts of violence we have here in the U.S. Get our own damned house in order before we start criticizing other countries.

  31. hephaestion says

    Afria has many very pro-gay people, too, so don’t paint the entire continent with the same brush. But yes, gays in Senegal, the Gambia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria are having hellish situations now at the hands of bizarre anti-gay leaders. American evangelists have had a hand in causing some of these heinous situations, as well as in Russia & Ukraine.

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