Burundi’s president says gay people should be stoned

Burundi’s president says gay people should be stoned

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Burundi’s president said gay people should be stoned, amid a larger crackdown on the LGBTQ community in the East African country.

“If you want to attract a curse to the country, accept homosexuality,” Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye said in a question and answer session with journalists and the public last Friday, according to Reuters.

“I even think that these people, if we find them in Burundi, it is better to lead them to a stadium and stone them. And that cannot be a sin,” he continued, claiming homosexuality is imported from the West.

The Burundi leader’s remarks come amid growing concern over anti-gay statements and laws across the African continent. Burundi already criminalizes same-sex sexual activity, with sentences of up to two years in prison.

A gay human rights activist in the country who spoke with The New York Times on the condition of anonymity said Sunday that the president’s comment “worsens an already unsafe environment.”

Ndayishimiye’s remarks come months after Uganda enacted an anti-gay law that drew condemnation from human rights groups and international political leaders from both sides of the aisle in the U.S.

The law imposes harsh penalties on those who identify as homosexual, including the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.” The country defines this as cases of sexual relations involving people with HIV, along with minors and other vulnerable people, The Associated Press reported.

A person convicted of “attempted aggravated homosexuality” can be imprisoned for up to 14 years. The law and continued harassment of LGBTQ members have prompted some to attempt to flee Uganda.

The State Department earlier this month announced an expansion of a previous visa restriction policy targeting “those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Uganda.”

The policy now also applies to officials or others who were behind or complicit in “policies or actions aimed at repressing members of marginalized or vulnerable populations.”

Uganda argued the U.S. is pushing an “LGBT agenda” in the wake of the Biden administration’s pushback.

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