Senegalese President Macky Sall is defending his refusal to decriminalize homosexuality one day after publicly clashing with President Barack Obama on the issue at a joint press conference.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Sall said Friday it was important for other countries to refrain from imposing their values beyond their borders.

Senegal's penal code imposes prison sentences of up to five years for committing "an improper, or unnatural act, with a person of the same sex."

Despite the law, Sall maintains that gays are not persecuted in Senegal, saying they are only prosecuted if they engaged in gay sex violating the law.

Activists strongly disagreed, pointing out that more than a dozen homosexuals are currently in jail for no other reason than their sexual orientation.