The small Central African nation of Burundi last month declared an “official hunt” for LGBTI people. Under the nation’s laws, people convicted of sexual activity with another member of the same sex are subject to from three months to two years in prison.
In its Equal Eyes recap of the world’s LGBTI news, UNAIDS reported:
Several LGBTI people, including teenagers, are being held in jails and forced to pay extortionate bribes for their freedom. Those who can’t afford it face beatings, extreme fines or up to two years’ imprisonment.
Nestled between Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania, the landlocked country of Burundi was one of 13 to vote against the United Nations ban on using the death penalty for gay people.
Police announced the ‘hunt’ for homosexuals on 6 October, informing the media ‘several’ had been arrested. ‘The reason is just they are gay, and the government says it is against Burundian culture,’ Bakari Ubena, a human rights journalist, told Gay Star News.
It is believed the UN motion had ‘some influence on the crackdown’. Both gay and trans people face arrests. ‘Gay people must have a hidden life,’ Ubena added. ‘LGBT associations have been closed by police.’
- Burundi: Harassment, then support for young lesbian (November 2014, 76crimes.com)
- New in Burundi: An arrest for ‘homosexual practices’ (September 2014, 76crimes.com)
- $64 fine settles 1st court case citing Burundi’s anti-gay law (September 2014, 76crimes.com)