Chad criminalises homosexuality

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The African nation Chad has approved a new criminal code for the country, among the many new laws is one that makes homosexuality illegal.

The new laws were passed by 111 members of parliament who voted in favour of the new penal code, only one politician voted against the wide ranging laws, while four others abstained.

Homosexuality is now classed as a misdemeanor offence, people caught engaging in homosexual relationships will be fined and given suspended jail sentences.

The country’s previous criminal code, which was based on French law, did not have any specific laws against homosexuality. The former French colony gained independence in 1960.

The country’s justice minister,Hamid Mahamat Dahalob, has described the new law as providing a lighter penalty for homosexuality. Previous proposals had called for prison sentences of 15 to 20 years for same-sex relationships.

The new laws also raised the age that people can wed from 16 to 18 years of age. People found to be in a marriage with an underage person will face a jail sentence of 5-10 years.

“This penal code is modern, it takes account of our customs and also our international commitments,” Minister Dahalob said.

The country has also abrogated the death penalty except in cases involving terrorism.

The decision will increase the number of countries where homosexuality is illegal to 77 nations. The new laws still have to be approved by President Idriss Déby, but it is expected he will be giving support to the new laws.

OIP Staff

 

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