The president of Burundi calls for “stoning” homosexuals in his country

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The president of Burundi calls for “stoning” homosexuals in his country

In a recent speech, Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye made controversial comments on homosexuality, a sensitive issue in his country. He described gay marriage as an “abominable practice” and suggested harsh punishments for homosexual couples, accusing them of “choosing the devil” and “provoking divine curse”. In Burundi, same-sex relationships are illegal, with penalties of up to two years in prison.

During a public conference broadcast on radio and television in the province of Cankuzo, the president responded to questions about homosexuality by referring to passages from the Bible. He claimed that accepting gay marriage could bring a curse upon the country, citing the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Ndayishimiye even suggested gathering homosexuals in a stadium to stone them, stating that it would not be a sin.

His remarks were also directed against Western countries, often at odds with Burundian policies on LGBTQ+ rights. The president criticized attempts by Western countries to influence policies in smaller countries on this issue, rejecting their aid if necessary.

The situation of LGBTQ+ rights remains precarious in Burundi, where the Penal Code punishes homosexual relationships. Earlier this year, 24 people were charged with “homosexual practices” and imprisoned, with sentences of up to two years. This situation reflects a broader issue in East Africa, where stigma and discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals are widespread in conservative societies, whether predominantly Christian or Muslim.

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