A group of villagers in Dakar, Senegal, have exhumed the body of a man who they said was gay and did not belong in a Muslim cemetery.

The thirty year old man died in hospital of natural causes on Saturday. “But after his burial the same day in a Muslim cemetery, four people dug him up. The deceased was considered homosexual,” a police officer who was called to the scene said.

“We intervened and the people dispersed. The parents [of the deceased] put the body in the tomb,” the officer added.

However a group of people once again dug up the body and placed it in front of the parents’ home. According to the Le Soleil newspaper, the man was then buried within the grounds of the family home.

Homosexuality is illegal in Senegal where 95% of the population is Muslim, and homosexual acts are punishable by up to five years in prison.

The incident is set amid a backlash of homophobic tension in Senegal, where recently nine homosexual men had their eight year prison sentences overturned by the court.

In the days following their release, a number of newspapers and radio stations denounced the men as “vicious” and “perverts” and, according to human rights group Amnesty International, some broadcasters had called on the population to attack and throw stones at anyone they suspected of being homosexual.

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