Ethiopia: Government drops plans to make homosexuality non-pardonable offence

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

The Ethiopian government has backed away from plans to further criminalise homosexuality, saying that it is “not a serious crime”.

Government spokesman Redwan Hussein confirmed that homosexuality would no longer be added to a list of serious crimes that are non-pardonable, a move that had been threatened last month.

He told Associated Press: “It is not a serious crime. Plus, it is not as widespread as some people suggest. It is already a crime and a certain amount of punishment is prescribed for it. The government thinks the current jail term in enough.”

Hussein also backed away from an anti-gay demonstration that was due to be held by religious groups on April 26.

Dereje Negash, the organiser of the rally, which has now been cancelled, said: “Currently I’m being threatened by the gay community for organizing the rally. Despite the threat, I will continue to pursue my struggle against the gay community.

“I believe I have been given a task by God to do this. I will do this even if it means life or death.

Homosexuality is already criminalised in Ethiopia, and same-sex sexual acts can lead to 15 years in prison, or 25 years if HIV was transmitted.

Uganda, which recently further criminalised homosexuality, has been hit by a string of Western aid cuts which threaten to spark a serious financial crisis.

Comments (0)

MyPinkNews members are invited to comment on articles to discuss the content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Please familiarise yourself with our community guidelines to ensure that our community remains a safe and inclusive space for all.

Loading Comments