Until last October, I was considered a criminal because of my sexuality.

Last autumn, in a case I brought, Mauritius’s Supreme Court struck down criminalising laws that had overshadowed my life for so long. It was a long, transformative journey which started in 2015 when the Human Dignity Trust brought my organisation, local NGO Collectif Arc-en-Ciel (CAEC) and other partners together to strategise around potential litigation. After years of preparation, I made the daunting decision to be the claimant in the case. This was a huge undertaking as I had to put my entire private life on public display and was making myself a target.

I chose to challenge this law not only for myself but for every person in Mauritius who has been compelled to live in the shadows, fearing persecution and marginalisation. Being criminalised in my own country severely affected my mental well-being and made me feel like a second-class citizen. For many of us, it has resulted in social isolation and strained family relationships, undermining our self-esteem and dignity.

In 2019, I filed a legal challenge at the Supreme Court of Mauritius challenging the constitutionality of Section 250 of the Criminal Code, which criminalised ‘sodomy’ and carried with it a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment. CAEC joined as an Interested Party and the Trust worked with our local legal team and engaged their global network, bringing world-class pro-bono expertise to the case. With the Trust providing me with security too, I felt supported and protected to take on this challenge.

The Trust’s legal team showed a deep commitment to my personal well-being and safety, consistently checking in on me and keeping me informed about any developments. On the day of the hearing, I was incredibly nervous. However, when they called my name, a member of the Trust’s team sat beside me, held my hand tightly, and reassured me, saying, “Don’t worry, you are going to be amazing, just be yourself.” Her presence in that moment was incredibly meaningful, and I held onto those words as I faced questioning in court.

When we received the final decision last year, it was an immense relief. From that moment, after almost two centuries of state-sanctioned stigma in Mauritius, I was free to love whomever I wanted without fear. Most importantly, it also meant that future generations can fully and freely embrace their sexuality without the fear of being arrested.

This significant victory marked a major step towards the full inclusion of our community in Mauritian society. However, many people around the world are not as fortunate. Over 60 countries still criminalise LGBT individuals; fuelling stigma, legitimising prejudice, and encouraging violence. This Pride season, we must remember and support our LGBT siblings who are fighting against these oppressive laws.

With your support, more activists like me can receive the expertise and assistance needed to challenge discriminatory laws. This special month, please contribute to the Trust’s #DoubleYourPride campaign where if you donate today, your contribution will be doubled, allowing you to make twice the impact in the fight for equality and justice.

Later this month, the Trust will be sharing an exciting new film documenting our journey to decriminalisation where you’ll be able to hear more from me, my fellow CAEC members and our dedicated legal team. I hope my case will give you hope that together we can achieve a world where everyone is free to be who they are and love who they love without fear.

Every donation you give brings us one step closer to that reality.

Thank you and Happy Pride!

Ryan Ah Seek

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Mauritius: Case before Supreme Court

Mauritius: Case before Supreme Court

CASE NAME Abdool Ridwan Firaas Ah Seek v. State of Mauritius (2023) COUNTRY                                    Mauritius COURT / TRIBUNAL    The Supreme Court of Mauritius STATUS Judgment delivered on 04 October 2023 Summary Section 250 of the Mauritian Criminal Code criminalises […]



In 64 countries there are still laws criminalising LGBT people which fuel stigma, legitimise prejudice and encourage violence. The Human Dignity Trust exists to change this. Your donation will help us support activists around the world to bravely challenge these discriminatory laws. Together, we can bring forward the day when no one is criminalised because of who they are or who they love.

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