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Burundi: Discrimination against Gays and Lesbians (HRW report)

Human Rights Watch publicou onte un pequeno informe sobre a situación dos homosexuais en Burundi. Neste país vén de aprobarse un novo Código Penal que castiga as relacións homosexuais con penas de prisión. As organizacións pro Direitos Humanos consideran que o Direito Penal non debe castigar ningún tipo de relación sexual efectuada entre adultos voluntaria e privadamente. O informe leva por título “Forbidden: Institutionalizing Discrimination against Gays and Lesbians in Burundi”. Copio un extracto da súa introducción:

On April 22, 2009, the president of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, signed into law a new criminal code that contains a provision making sexual relations between people of the same sex illegal for the first time in the country’s history.

The law was a fierce blow to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Burundi, who only in recent years, and in very small numbers, had begun to come out, organize, and demand that their rights be respected. The Association for Respect and Rights for Homosexuals (Association pour le Respect et les Droits des Homosexuels, ARDHO), was founded in the capital, Bujumbura, in 2003, initially as a support group for LGBT people. Inspired by what they saw as a global wave in favor of LGBT rights, members began traveling to gay rights conferences in other African countries; educating themselves and others about HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; and speaking out on Burundian radio stations about discrimination they faced in their daily lives.

While some “came out” to their families and friends as gay or lesbian, most remained “closeted” outside of the safe space provided by ARDHO, afraid of rejection or even disownment. […] Human Rights Watch and 62 other Burundian and international human rights organizations issued a joint statement calling for the provision -–article 567 of the new Criminal Code–- to be removed. The article provides for up to two years in prison for “whoever engages in sexual relations with a person of the same sex.” The organizations stated that the law violates the rights to privacy and to non-discrimination enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They also expressed concern that the law would hamper Burundi’s efforts to fight AIDS. […]

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30 Xullo 2009 - Posted by | Burundi, Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Politics

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