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Thursday, 22 January 2009

London protest about Senegal arrests cancelled

Peter Tatchell

The planned LGBT / HIV human rights protest outside the Senegal Embassy in London on Friday 23 January has been canceled.

This is at the request of LGBT and HIV activists in Senegal. They say negotiations are going well with the Senegalese government for the release of nine men from jail. Although the activists appreciate our planned protests and have expressed their gratitude for our support, they now feel that negotiations are at a very delicate stage and they are nervous that protests might alienate the government.

Senegalese LGBT and HIV campaigners have therefore asked that we postpone the Friday protest. We feel obliged to respect their wishes.

I hope you understand.

I want to express my immense appreciation to all of you who were ready and willing to join us outside the Embassy, and apologise if this cancellation has cause you any inconvenience.

Below is a copy of an email that I received on Thursday night from a leading Senegalese campaigner, which includes a positive assessment of the prospects for the men's freedom in the near future.

Message from Dakar, Senegal

Dear Peter,

Thank you very much for your commitment and your support.

I went to see our friends in jail this afternoon. They well treated and in safe conditions.

Our contacts and dialogue with the government officials are positive and will certainly end with the release of our friends. We will keep you informed.

Thanks again for you solidarity.

Daouda DIOUF
ENDA Tiers Monde/ Santé
Dakar, Senegal


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