Gitega : the prosecutor demands sentences of up to 5 years in prison for alleged homosexuals

Gitega : the prosecutor demands sentences of up to 5 years in prison for alleged homosexuals

In a trial which took place Monday at the central prison of Gitega (political capital), the public prosecutor accused 24 defendants of being homosexuals. Legally, he qualified the offense as an attack on Burundian morals and requested against them a sentence ranging from 2 to 5 years in prison. The concerned persons rejected the charges brought against them and asked to be acquitted. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

These people had been apprehended on February 22 while they were undergoing training in the Rango neighborhood of Gitega city.

The 24 have rejected the charges against them as a whole. They explained that they were arrested while they were following a training course on entrepreneurship, provided by an approved association recognized by the Burundian law.

The public prosecutor requested a 2-year prison sentence against the suspects. For the five people from the staff of the governing bodies of the “Muco” association, he asked for an additional five-year sentence for “incitement to debauchery”.

The 24 people have, for their part, asked to be acquitted.

14 of them are imprisoned in the central prison of Gitega while 10 others appear being free.

This case was taken under advisement. The verdict will be communicated within a period not exceeding two months.

One of the three defense attorneys said he remains confident of a fair trial and pleaded for the release of his clients.

“The public prosecutor was unable to provide sufficient evidence of guilt”, he said.

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.

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