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23 Sep 2013

Bangladesh retains anti-gay sex law against United Nations recommendations

Bangladesh rejects United Nations recommendation to decriminalise its anti-gay sex law at the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva last Friday.

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LGBT rights activists in Bangladesh have expressed dismay at the government's decision to retain its British colonial-era law that criminalises sex between same-sex couples. Section 377 of the Bangladesh Penal Code, which "outlaws carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal", provides for life imprisonment, up to ten years imprisonment, and a fine.

Photo: International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) campaign in May 2013.  Boys of Bangladesh (BoB) Facebook

Bangladesh accepted 164 of a total 196 recommendations made by the United Nations Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva on Friday. Among the measures rejected was a recommendation to abolish section 377 of the national penal code which criminalises consensual sex between same-sex couples.

According to an UN summary of the UPR meeting, Abdul Hannan, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Office at Geneva, told the council that his country could not accept recommendations that conflicted with “constitutional and legal provisions” or “socio-cultural values of the country”.

Gay rights organisation Boys of Bangladesh responded in a statement posted on its Facebook page saying: "We regret that the Government has rejected recommendation to abolish Section 377 which criminalises consensual same-sex relationship."

It added that the government already has an extensive HIV/AIDS program including men who have sex with men (MSM) and Hijras, the rejection indicates that it’s just to "avoid acknowledging human rights violations of sexual and gender minorities."

The group further added that decriminalising section 377 "is important because it can help bring social change" and called on the government to roactively stop intolerant groups from making inflammatory homophobic remarks, which have often results in violence towards LGBT community.

Reader's Comments

1. 2013-09-25 23:40
some people may be professional said that gay is soul that trapped in wrong body. The body is man but the soul is woman.

Let see, a bottle
Should every bottle contain coca-cola? or mineral water?
even you may put orange juice in bottle
How if you put Poisson?

It mean that body is no matter for soul content.
that every gay -LGBT should give good taste/special taste to people
every gay should realize that you are balancing for human Life

2. 2013-09-27 12:47
I can't quite follow what comment 1 means but in any event Bangladesh is behaving exactly how you would expect a fundamentalist Islamic state to behave: with no regard for true democracy or real human rights. These have no place in Islam, a religion stuck with its pre 12th century roots and total disregard for 21st century values and modern scientific knowledge regarding human evolution, behaviour or social mores.
Comment edited on 2013-09-27 13:13:01
3. 2013-09-27 13:13
I can't quite follow what comment 1 means but in any event Bangladesh is behaving exactly how you would expect a fundamentalist Islamic state to behave: with no regard for true democracy or real human rights. These have no place in Islam, a religion stuck with its pre 12th century roots and total disregard for 21st century values and modern scientific knowledge regarding human evolution, behaviour or social mores.

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