Gitega : 24 alleged homosexuals in detention

Gitega : 24 alleged homosexuals in detention

Made up of men, women and young people, the 24 persons have been detained since February 23 in the political capital Gitega (central Burundi). They are suspected of forming groups of homosexuals. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

The concerned persons were arrested by the police in collaboration with the National Intelligence Service. They participated in a workshop organized by a local association called “Muco”. USAID funded the training, according to our sources.

“Several police officers and intelligence agents, accompanied by local administration authorities entered the premises where they were during the break”, say our sources.

All the members of the group were arrested on the spot, taken to the custody of the provincial police station on board pick-ups of the police and the SNR (National Intelligence Service), add witnesses.

The 24 people are suspected of forming groups of homosexuals.

“At the place of their arrest, we discovered several condoms, syringes and documents-statutes on the rights and protection of homosexuals”, indicate police sources.

A security source in the commercial city of Bujumbura, where the central administration of the small East African nation is located, told SOS Médias Burundi that “the case is managed at the level of secret services even if the detainees are in the hands of the police”.

Spokespersons for the police and the general prosecutor’s office were not available to respond to our questions. The spokesperson for the general prosecutor’s office, Agnès Bangiricenge did not even react to the messages we sent her. The governor of Gitega, Venant Manirambona, could not be reached on his mobile phone.

But this Wednesday, without citing the case of Gitega, President Évariste Ndayishimiye returned to the rights of homosexuals in his country.

” […] Burundian homosexuals even those who live outside the country, wherever they are, even in the #USA, they must be banned, treated as pariahs, they are cursed”, he insisted during a parliamentary retreat.

Until December 2022, 68 countries in the world criminalized homosexuality. They are located in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. At least 11 of them apply the death penalty against homosexuals. In Burundi, they are punished with a sentence of up to two years in prison and a fine.

The 24 allegedly homosexuals were entitled to legal aid, reports say.

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