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New in Burundi: An arrest for ‘homosexual practices’

Location du Burundi en Afrique.
Location of Burundi in Africa.

A Vietnamese telecommunications worker was arrested Sept. 16 in northern Burundi on charges of “homosexual practices,” according to Agence France-Presse and other media accounts.

Under a Burundian law, passed in 2009, homosexual intimacy is punishable by three months to two years in prison and/or a fine of 50,000 to 100,000 Burundian francs (US $32 to $64).  At least until this month, that law reportedly had not led to any convictions.

The man was arrested after he was found with a Burundian partner, AFP was told by Richard Nzokirantevye, governor of  Karuzi Province.

The Burundian partner escaped and is sought by police, Nzokirantevye said.

The arrestee, whose name was not released, is an employee of the Vietnamese telecommunications company Viettel, which received a license in February to provide mobile phone service in Burundi.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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