Sudan criminalises same-sex sexual activity between men and between women. Sentences include a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Types of criminalisation
- Criminalises LGBT people
- Criminalises sexual activity between males
- Criminalises sexual activity between females
Same-sex sexual activity is prohibited under the Penal Code 2019, which criminalises acts of ‘sexual relations with a person of the same sex’. This provision carries a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment and a fine. Both men and women are criminalised under this law.
Chad criminalised same-sex sexual activity for the first time with the passage of the revised Penal Code in 2017.
There is some limited evidence of the law being enforced, with a few reports in recent years. There are limited reports of discrimination and violence being committed against LGBT people in recent years, however this is possibly due to the lack of information available.
In August Chad’s new Penal Code came into effect, criminalising same-sex intimacy between men and between women for the first time.
In September, the Council of Ministers approved a draft revised penal code for debate in the National Assembly. One of the amendments proposed to criminalise same-sex sexual activity with a punishment of 15-20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of between 50,000 and 500,000 CFA francs. This development received international media attention, prompting concern from human rights organisations. The government subsequently withdrew the draft penal code from National Assembly consideration for further review.
The US Department of State cited reports from local civil society saying that several dozen individuals were imprisoned on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity but held under the pretext of other charges.
ILGA reported an incident in July in which a person was reported as being a “man dressed as a woman”. A police spokesperson referred to the arrested person as a ‘homosexual’, and indicated that they had identified them on the basis of their dress, suggesting a conflation between sexual orientation and gender identity. It is not clear whether the person was prosecuted for any offence.
The US Department of State report for 2019 cited a local LGBT advocacy group which reported that 22 men were arrested in Moussoro for same-sex sexual activity. It is not clear whether this was one incident or several, or whether the arrests resulted in prosecutions.
Despite same-sex sexual activity not formally being criminalised until the passage of the 2017 Penal Code, two gay men were arrested in Abéché in 2013 allegedly for celebrating their wedding in a bar. They were chargedwith indecent exposure and were issued with a fine and a two-year suspended sentence. It was further ordered that the bar be closed for two years. This prompted religious groups, youth associations and women’s groups to petition the government to punish the couple for what they described as a “vile and anti-religious act”. One of the men reportedly left the country after he was released.
The US Department of State report highlighted that although the criminalising provision is not actively enforced, there were reports of police harassment in the year.
Freedom House’s Freedom in the World report noted that LGBT people are forced to conceal their identities due to widespread cultural discrimination.
The US Department of State report noted that there were no LGBT organisations in the country.
The US Department of State report indicated that there were no reports of violence towards the LGBT community.
Libya criminalises same-sex sexual activity between men and between women. Sentences include a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.
Cameroon criminalises same-sex sexual activity between men and between women. Sentences include a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment and a fine.
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