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Senegal arrests 5 women accused of violating antigay law

DAKAR, Senegal — Police detained five women accused of violating Senegal’s antigay law, highlighting increased pressure on suspected lesbians in the deeply conservative West African nation, an activist group said Tuesday.

The five women were detained early Monday morning during a birthday party at a restaurant in Dakar’s Yoff district that has been described in the Senegalese press as a meeting point for gay men and lesbians, said Ndeye Kebe, president of the activist group Women’s Smile.

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The oldest of the suspects, 31-year-old Sene Dieng, is an assistant director at Women’s Smile, the only group in Senegal to advocate for lesbians’ rights.

The women were expected to appear in court Tuesday, though Kebe said they had been unable to afford a lawyer.

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