Africa

African Countries where Homosexuality is still a Crime

(in alphabetical order)

In Africa, there are 36 countries that still criminalise homosexuality. Of these 33 have ratified the ICCPR, but only 18 have submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of the UN Human Rights Committee by ratifying the Optional Protocol to the ICCPR.

 

State

 

 

Domestic law[*]

 

Penalty

 

Ratified International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)[†]

 

Ratified Optional Protocol to ICCPR[†]

 

Algeria

Algeria 

Penal Code (Ordinance 66-156 of June 8, 1966)

Art. 338

“Any person guilty of a homosexual act shall be punished with a term of imprisonment of between two months and two years and a fine of between 500 and 2,000 Algerian dinars.”

Imprisonment for a duration between two months and two years; and

Fine between 500 and 2,000 Algerian dinars

12 Sep 1989

12 Sep 1989

Angola

AGLA0001 

Penal Code of September 16, 1886, as amended in 1954 (inherited from the Portuguese colonial era)

Articles 70 and 71(4) provide for the imposition of security measures on people who habitually practice acts against nature.

Original text: “Tout coupable d‘un acte d‘homo- sexualité est puni d‘un emprisonnement de deux (2) mois à deux (2) ans et d‘une amende de cinq cents (500) à deux mille (2.000) DA.”

 
Imposition of security measures

10 Jan 1992

10 Jan 1992

Botswana

 Botswana

Penal Code [Volume II, Chapter 08:01], amended by the Penal Code Amendment Act 5, 1998

Section 164: Unnatural offences


“Any person who;

(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature;

(b) has carnal knowledge of any animal; or

(c) permits any other person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature,
is guilty of an offences and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.”

 

Imprisonment for up to seven years

8 Sep 2000

-

Section 165: Attempts to commit unnatural offences


“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in section 164 is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.”

Imprisonment for up to five years
Section 167: Indecent practices between persons

“Any person who, whether in public or private, commits
any act of gross indecency with another person, or procures another person to commit any act of gross indecency with him or her, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any person with himself or herself or with another person, whether in public or private, is guilty of an offence.”

    

Burundi

Burundi 

Law No. 1/05 of 22 April 2009 concerning the revision of the Penal Code

Article 567

“Whoever has sexual relations with someone of the same sex shall be punished with imprisonment for three months to two years and a fine of fifty thousand to one hundred thousand francs or one of those penalties.”

(Unofficial translation)

 
Imprisonment for a duration between 3 months and 2 years; and/or

Fine of 50,000 to 100,000 francs

9 May 1990

-

Cameroon

 Cameroon

 

Penal Code of 1965 and 1967, as amended in 1972

“Whoever has sexual relations with a person of the same sex shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to five years and fine of from 20,000 to 200,000 francs.”

Imprisonment for a duration between 6 months and 5 years; and

Fine of 20,000 to 200,000 francs

27 Jun 1984

27 Jun 1984

Comoros

Comoros 

Penal Code of the Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros

Article 318

“(3) Without prejudice to the more serious penalties provided for in the preceding paragraphs or by articles 320 and 321
of this Code, whoever will have committed an improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sex will be punished by imprisonment of between one and five years and by a fine of 50 000 to 1 000 000 francs. If the act was committed with a minor, the maximum penalty will always be applied.”

Imprisonment for a duration between 1 and five years; and

Fine of 50,000 to 1,000,000 francs

-

-

Egypt

 Egypt

The Law on the Combating of Prostitution and the Penal Code have been used to imprison gay men.Law 58/1937 promulgating The Penal Code

Article 98(f):

“Detention for a period of not less than six months and not exceeding five years, or paying a fine of 
not less than five hundred pounds and not exceeding one thousand pounds shall be the penalty inflicted on whoever exploits and uses the religion in advocating and propagating by talk or in writing, or by any other method, extremist thoughts with the aim of instigating sedition and division or disdaining and contempting any of the heavenly religions or the sects belonging thereto, or prejudicing national unity or social peace.”

  
Detention for a duration between 6 months and 5 years; or

Fine between 500 pounds and 1,000 pounds

14 Jan 1982

-

Article 269 bis:

“Whoever is found on a public road or a traveled and frequented place inciting the passersby with signals or words to commit indecency shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding one month. If the felon recurs to committing this crime within one year of the first crime, the penalty shall become imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months and a fine not exceeding fifty pounds. A ruling of conviction shall necessitate placing the convict under police supervision for a period equal to that of the penalty.”

Imprisonment for up to 1 month; or

Imprisonment for up to 6 months and a fine of up to 50 pounds if committed within one year of first crime.

Article 278:

“Whoever commits in public a scandalous act against shame shall be punished with detention for a period not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding three hundred pounds.”

Detention for up to 1 year or fine of up 300 pounds.
Law 10/1961 on the Combating of Prostitution

Article 9:

“Punishment by imprisonment for a period not less than three months and not exceeding three years and a fine not less than 25 LE and not exceeding 300 LE [...] or one of these two punishments applies in the following cases:
(a) Whoever lets or offers in whatever fashion a residence or place run for the purpose of debauchery or prostitution, or for the purpose of housing one or more persons, if they are to his knowledge practicing debauchery or prostitution.

(b) Whoever owns or manages a furnished residence or furnished rooms or premises open to the public and who facilitates the practice of debauchery or prostitution, either by admitting persons so engaged or by allowing on his premises incitement to debauchery or prostitution.

(c) Whoever habitually engages in debauchery or prostitution.

Upon the apprehension of a person in the last category, it 
is permitted to send him for a medical examination. If it is discovered that he is carrying an infectious venereal disease, it is permitted to detain him in a therapeutic institute until his cure is completed.

It is permitted to determine that the convicted person 
be placed, upon completion of his sentence, in a special reformatory until the administrative agency orders his release. This judgment is obligatory in cases of recidivism, and the period spent in the reformatory is not allowed to be more than three years. [...]”

Imprisonment for a duration between 3 months and 3 years; and/or

Fine between 25 LE and 300 LE.

May be placed in a special reformatory upon completion of sentence for up to 3 years.

Eritrea

Eriteria 

Penal Code of 1957 (inherited from Ethiopian rule)

Article 600: Unnatural carnal offences

“(1) Whosoever performs with another person of the same sex an act corresponding to the sexual act, or any other indecent act, is punishable with simple imprisonment.

(2) The provisions of Art. 597 are applicable where an infant or young person is involved.”

Article 105: Simple imprisonment

“(1) simple imprisonment is a sentence applicable to offences of a not very serious nature committed by persons who are not a serious danger to society.
It is intended as a measure of safety to the general public and as a punishment to the offender.
 Subject to any special provision of law and without prejudice to conditional release, simple imprisonment may extend for 
a period of from ten days to three years; such period shall be fixed by the court.

(2) The sentence of simple imprisonment shall be served in such prison or in such section thereof as is appointed for the purpose.”

Imprisonment for a period between 10 days and 3 years.

22 Jan 2002

-

Ethiopia

Ethiopia 

Criminal Code of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Proclamation No. 414/2004

Article 629: Homosexual and other Indecent Acts

“Whoever performs with another person of the same sex a homosexual act, or any other indecent act, is punishable with simple imprisonment.”

Article 106: Simple Imprisonment

“(1) Simple imprisonment is a sentence applicable to crimes of a not very serious nature committed by persons who are not a serious danger to society.

Without prejudice to conditional release, simple imprisonment may extend for a period of from ten days to three years. However, simple imprisonment may extend up to five years where, owing to the gravity of the crime, it is prescribed in the Special Part of this Code, or where there are concurrent crimes punishable with simple imprisonment, or where the criminal has been punished repeatedly.

The Court shall fix the period of simple imprisonment in its judgment.

(2) The sentence of simple imprisonment shall be served in such prison or in such section thereof as is appointed for the purpose.”

Imprisonment for a period between 10 days and 3 years.

May extend to a maximum of 5 years in special circumstances.

11 Jun 1993

-

Article 630: General Aggravation to the Crime

“(1) The punishment shall be simple imprisonment for not less than one year, or, in grave cases, rigorous imprisonment not exceeding ten years, where the criminal:

a) takes unfair advantage of the material or mental distress of another or of the authority he exercises over another by virtue of his position, office or capacity as guardian, tutor, protector, teacher, master or employer, or by virtue of any other like relationship, to cause such other person to perform or to submit to such an act; or

b) makes a profession of such activities within the meaning of the law (Art. 92).

(2) The punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment from three years to fifteen years, where

(a) the criminal uses violence, intimidation or coercion, trickery or fraud, or takes unfair advantage of the victim’s inability to offer resistance or to defend himself or of his feeble- mindedness or unconsciousness; or

b) the criminal subjects his victim to acts of cruelty or sadism, or transmits to him a venereal disease with which he knows himself to be infected; or

c) the victim is driven to suicide by distress, shame or despair.”

Imprisonment for a duration between 1 year and 10 years

Gambia

Gambia 

Criminal Code 1965, as amended in 2005

Article 144: Unnatural offences

“(1) Any person who—

(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or

(b)  has carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(c)  permits any person to have carnal knowledge of him or  her against the order of nature;
is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for a term of 14 years.

(2) In this section- “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” includes-

(a) carnal knowledge of the person through the anus or the mouth of the person;

(b) inserting any object or thing into the vulva or the anus of the person for the purpose of simulating sex; and

(c) committing any other homosexual act with the person”

Imprisonment for 14 years

22 Mar 1979

9 Jun 1988

Ghana

Ghana 

Criminal Code, 1960 (Act 29), as amended to 2003

Section 104: Unnatural Carnal Knowledge

“(1) Whoever has unnatural carnal knowledge—

(a) of any person of the age of sixteen years or over without his consent shall be guilty of a first degree felony and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than twenty-five years; or

(b) of any person of sixteen years or over with his consent is guilty of a misdemeanour; or

(c) of any animal is guilty of a misdemeanour.

(2) Unnatural carnal knowledge is sexual intercourse with a person in an unnatural manner or with an animal.”

According to Article 296(4) of the Criminal Procedural Code, a misdemeanor shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years.

Imprisonment for a term of:

(a) between 5 years and 25 years if there was no consent;

(b) up to 3 years if there was consent.

7 Sep 2000

7 Sep 2000

Guinea

Guinea 

Penal Code of 1998

Article 325

“Any indecent act or act against nature committed with an individual of the same sex will be punished by six months to three years of imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 to 1,000,000 Guinean francs.

If the act was committed with a minor under 21 years of age, the maximum penalty must be pronounced.”

Original text: ”Tout acte impudique ou contre nature commis avec un individu de son sexe sera puni d’un emprisonnement de 6 mois à 3 ans et d’une amende de 100.000 à 1.000.000 de Francs guinéens. Si l’acte a été commis avec un mineur de moins de 21 ans, le maximum de la peine sera toujours prononcée”

Imprisonment for a period between 6 months and 3 years.

24 Jan 1978

17 Jun 1993

Kenya

 Kenya

Penal Code (as amended by Act No. 5 of 2003)

Section 162: Unnatural Offences

“Any person who—

(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or

(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature; is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years:

Provided that, in the case of an offence under paragraph (a), the offender shall be liable to imprisonment for twenty-one years if—

(i) the offence was committed without the consent of the person who was carnally known; or

(ii) the offence was committed with that person’s consent but the consent was obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of some kind, or by fear of bodily harm, or by means of false representations as to the nature of the act.“

Imprisonment for 14 years

Imprisonment for 21 years if committed without consent or if consent was obtained by force

1 May 1996

-

Section 163: Attempt to Commit Unnatural Offences

“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in section 162 is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”

Imprisonment for 7 years
Section 165: Indecent Practices Between Males

“Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for five years.”

Imprisonment for 5 years
Section 155: Indecent practices between males

“Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, shall be guilty of a felony, and shall be liable to imprisonment for 5 years.”

Imprisonment for 5 years

Lesotho

Lesotho 

 

Sodomy is an offence under Lesotho’s common law, defined as “unlawful and intentional sexual relationship per anum between two human males.” However, the laws have reportedly not been enforced other than in situations where consent was lacking.

9 Sep 1992

6 Sep 2000

Liberia

Liberia 

New Penal Law, Volume IV, Title 26, Liberian Code of Laws Revised, Approved in 1976 and Published in 1978.

Articles 14.74, 14.79 and 50.7 consider “voluntary sodomy” as a first degree misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to one year imprisonment, with sodomy being defined as “deviate sexual intercourse” between human beings who are not (living as) husband and wife, that consists of contact between penis and anus, mouth and penis, or mouth and vulva.

Imprisonment for up to 1 year

22 Sep 2004

-

Libya

 Libya

Penal Code of 1953 as amended by Law 70 of 2 October 1973

Article 407
(4)

Whoever has intercourse with a person with his consent will be punished with his partner by imprisonment of not more than five years.

Article 408
(4)

Whoever commits an indecent act with a person with his consent will be punished with his partner with imprisonment.

Imprisonment for up to 5 years

15 May 1970

16 May 1989

Malawi

 Malawi

Penal Code Chap. 7:01 Laws of Malawi

Section 153: Unnatural offences


“Anyone who –
(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or 
(b) has carnal knowledge of any animal; or 
(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature,
shall be guilty of a felony and shall be liable to imprisonment for fourteen years, with or without corporal punishment.”

Imprisonment for 14 years, with or without corporal punishment

22 Dec 1993

11 Jun 1996

Section 154: Attempt to commit unnatural offences

“
Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in the last preceding section shall be guilty of a felony and
 shall be liable to imprisonment for seven years, with or without corporal punishment.”

Imprisonment for 7 years, with or without corporal punishment
Section 156: Indecent practices between males

”Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act
by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, shall be guilty of a felony and shall be liable to imprisonment for five years, with or without corporal punishment.”

Imprisonment for 5 years, with or without corporal punishment
Section 137A: Indecent practices between females

Any female person who, whether in public or private, commits “any act of gross indecency with another female” shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a prison term of five years.

Imprisonment for 5 years

Mauritania

mauritania 

Penal Code of 1984

Article 308

“Any adult Muslim man who commits an indecent act or an act against nature with an individual of his sex will face the penalty of death by public stoning. If it is a question of two women, they will be punished as prescribed in article 306, first paragraph.” (Unofficial translation)

Original text Article 308: ”Tout musulman majeur qui aura commis un acte impudique ou contre nature avec un individu de son sexe sera puni de peine de mort par lapidation publique. S’il s’agit de deux femmes, elles seront punies de la peine prévue à l’article 306, paragraphe premier.” Article 306 (1), Toute personne qui aura commis un outrage public à la pudeur et aux mœurs islamiques ou a violé les lieux sacrés ou aidé à les violer, si cette action ne figure pas dans les crimes emportant la Ghissass ou la Diya, sera punie d’une peine correctionnelle de trois mois à deux ans d’emprisonnement et d’une amende de 5.000 à 60.000 UM.

Death by public stoning

17 Nov 2004

-

Mauritius

 Mauritious

 

Criminal Code of 1838 

Section 250: Sodomy and bestiality

“(1) Any person who is guilty of the crime of sodomy or bestiality shall be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding 5 years.”

Penal servitude for up to 5 years

12 Dec 1973

12 Dec 1973

Morocco

Morocco 

Penal Code of November 26, 1962

Article 489

“Any person who commits lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex shall be punished with a term of imprisonment of between six months and three years and a fine of 120 to 1,000 dirhams, unless the facts of the case constitute aggravating circumstances.”

Imprisonment for a period between 6 months and 3 years; and

Fine between 120 and 1,000 dirhams

3 May 1979

-

Mozambique

Mozambique 

Penal Code of September 16, 1886, as amended in 1954 (inherited from the Portuguese colonial era)

Articles 70 and 71(4°) provide for the imposition of security measures on people who habitually practice acts against nature.

Original Text in Portuguese:

“Artigo 70° (Medidas de segurança)
São medidas de segurança:
1°. – O internamento em manicómio criminal;
2o. – O internamento em casa de trabalho ou colónia agrícola; 3°. – A liberdade vigiada;
4°. – A caução de boa conduta;
5°. – A interdição do exercício de profissão;

[...]”

“Artigo 71°
(Aplicação de medidas de seguranças)
São aplicáveis medidas de segurança:
[...]
4°. – Aos que se entreguem habitualmente à pratica de vícios contra a natureza;
[...]
§ 1°. – O internamento, nos termos do n°. 2o e § 2° do artigo 70°, só poderá ter lugar pela primeira vez quando aos indivíduos indicados nos nos. 1o, 2°, 7o e 9o.
Aos indivíduos indicados nos n°s. 3°, 4°, 5°, 6°, e 8° será imposta, pela primeira vez, a caução de boa conduta ou a liberdade vigiada e, pela segunda, a liberdade vigiada com caução elevada ao dobro, ou o internamento.
[...]”

The security measures may include: a bond of good behavior, being put on probation for a certain period, or even internment in a workhouse or agricultural colony (from 6 months to 3 years).

21 Jul 1993

-

Namibia

 Namibia

 

Sodomy remains a crime in Namibia according to the Roman-Dutch common-law, which was imposed by the South Africans.  

28 Nov 1994

28 Nov 1994

Nigeria

 Nigeria

Criminal Code Act, Chapter 77, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990

Section 214: Unnatural offences“Any person who-(1) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or

(2) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(3) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature;
is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.”

Imprisonment for 14 years

29 Jul 1993

-

Section 215: Attempt to commit unnatural offences

“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences defined in the last preceding section is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years. The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.” 

Imprisonment for 7 years
Section 217: Indecent practices between males

“Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another
male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years. The offender cannot be arrested without warrant.”Note: several Northern Nigerian states have adopted Islamic Sharia laws, criminalizing sexual activities between persons of the same sex. The maximum penalty for such acts between men is death penalty, while the maximum penalty for such acts between women is a whipping and/or imprisonment. These laws differ from the federal law, as most of these prohibit also sexual relations between women.The states which have adopted such laws are:

Bauchi (the year 2001), Borno (2000), Gombe (2001), Jigawa (2000), Kaduna (2001), Kano (2000), Katsina (2000), Kebbi (2000), Niger (2000), Sokoto (2000), Yobe (2001) and Zamfara (2000).

Imprisonment for 3 years

Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013

Section 1(1) “A … civil union entered into between persons of same sex: (a) is prohibited in Nigeria”.

Section 5

(1) “A person who enters into a … civil union commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 14 years imprisonment”.

 

14 years imprisonment
Section 4(2)

“The public show of same sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly is prohibited”.

Section 5(2) “A person who … directly or indirectly makes public show of same sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.

10 years imprisonment

Senegal

Senegal

Penal Code of 1965

Article 319 (third paragraph)

“Without prejudice to the more serious penalties provided for in the preceding paragraphs
 or by articles 320 and 321 of this Code, whoever will have committed an improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sex will be punished by imprisonment of between one and five years and by a fine of 100,000 to 1,500,000 francs. If the act was committed with a person below the age of 21, the maximum penalty will always be applied.”

Original text: “Sans préjudice des peines plus graves prévues par lês alinéas qui précédent ou par les articles 320 et 321 du présent Code, sera puni d’un emprisonnement d’un à cinq ans et d’une amende de 100.000 à 1.500.000 francs, quiconque aura commis um acte impudique ou contre nature avec un individu de son sexe. Si l’acte a été commis avec un mineur de 21 ans, le maximum de la peine sera toujours prononcé.”

Imprisonment for a period between 1 and 5 years and fine between 100,000 and 1,500,000 francs

13 Feb 1978

13 Feb 1978

Seychelles

Seychelles 

Criminal Code of 1955

Section 151

“Any person who –
a. has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or
b. has carnal knowledge of an animal; or
c. permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.”

Imprisonment for 14 years

5 May 1992

5 May 1992

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone 

Offences against the Person Act 1861

Section 61 of the above named Act criminalizes buggery and bestiality, with a penalty of life imprisonment.

Life imprisonment

23 Aug 1996

23 Aug 1996

Somalia

Somalia 

Penal Code, Legislative Decree No. 5/1962

Article 409: Homosexuality


“Whoever has carnal intercourse with a person of the same sex shall be punished, where the act does not constitute a more serious crime, with imprisonment from three months to three years. Where the act committed is an act of lust different from carnal intercourse, the punishment imposed shall be reduced by one-third.”

Article 410: Security Measures


“A security measure may be added to a sentence for crimes referred to in Articles 407, 408, and 409.” (Unofficial Translation)

The political situation in Somalia has been complicated since the fall of the dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, and the enforcement of the national Penal Code can be questioned. However, Somaliland in the north has declared itself independent, and it still applies the Penal Code.

Imprisonment for a period between 3 months and 3 years

Security measures may be added to the sentence

24 Jan 1990

24 Jan 1990

South Sudan

South Sudan 

Penal Code Act 2008

Section 248: Unnatural Offences

(1) Whoever, has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person and whoever allows any person to have such intercourse with him or her commits an offence, and upon conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years and may also be liable to a fine.
[...]

Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.”

 

Imprisonment for up to 10 years; and

Fine

-

-

Sudan

Sudan 

The Penal Code 1991 (Act No. 8 1991)

Section 148: Sodomy

“(1) Any man who inserts his penis or its equivalent into
a woman’s or a man’s anus or permitted another man to insert his penis or its equivalent in his anus is said to have committed Sodomy.

(2) (a) Whoever commits Sodomy shall be punished with flogging one hundred lashes and he shall also be liable to five years imprisonment.

(b) If the offender is convicted for the second time he shall be punished with flogging one hundred lashes and imprisonment for a term which may not exceed five years.

(c) If the offender is convicted for the third time he shall be punished with death or life imprisonment.”

Flogging 100 lashes and 5 years imprisonment

Death or life imprisonment if convicted for the third time

18 Mar 1986

-

Section 151: Indecent Acts

“Whoever commits an act of gross indecency upon the person of another person or any sexual act which does not amount to Zina or Sodomy shall be punished with not more than forty lashes and shall also be liable for imprisonment for a term which may not exceed one year or fine.”

Up to 40 lashes and imprisonment for up to one year or fine
In 2003 the south parts of Sudan (also known as New Sudan) gained some autonomy, and adopted its own Penal Code the same year. As the federal Penal Code, this Penal Code criminalizes sodomy, however with a milder punishment, according to the following section:

Section 318: Unnatural Offences

“Whoever has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person and whoever allows any person to have such intercourse with him commits an offence and shall on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years and may also be liable to fine; and if such intercourse is done without consent he shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years and may also be liable to fine; provided that a consent given by a person below the age of eighteen years to such intercourse shall not be deemed to be a consent within the meaning of this section.

Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal knowledge necessary to the offence described in this section.”

Imprisonment for up to 10 years; andFine

Imprisonment for up to 14 years and fine if act carried out without consent

Swaziland

Swaziland 

 

Sodomy – sexual intercourse per anus between two human males – is prohibited as a common law offence.  

26 Mar 2004

-

Tanzania

Tanzania 

Penal Code of 1945 (as amended by the Sexual Offences Special Provisions Act, 1998)

Section 154: Unnatural of offences


“(1) Any person who–

(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or

(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, commits an offence,
and is liable to imprisonment for life and in any case to imprisonment for a term of not less than thirty years.

(2) Where the offence under subsection (1) of this section is committed to a child under the age of ten years the offender shall be sentenced to life imprisonment.”

Imprisonment for life

11 Jun 1976

-

 

Section 155: Attempt to commit unnatural offences

“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified under section 154 commits an offence and shall on conviction be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than twenty years.”

Imprisonment for a minimum of 20 years

 

 

Section 138A: Gross indecency

“Any person who, in public or private commits, or is party to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any person of, any act of gross indecency with another person, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not exceeding five years or to a fine not less than one hundred thousand shillings and not exceeding three hundred thousand shillings; save that where the offence is committed
 by a person of eighteen years of age or more in respect of any person under eighteen years of 
age, a pupil of a primary school or a student of a secondary school the offender shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not less than ten years, with corporal punishment, and shall also be ordered to pay compensation of an amount determined by the court to the person in respect of whom the offence was committed for any injuries caused to that person.”

Imprisonment for a period between 1 year and five years; or
Fine between 100,000 and 300,000 shillings

If offence is committed in respect of a person under the age of 18 years, or a primary or secondary school student:

  • Imprisonment for a minimum of 10 years with corporal punishment; and
  • Order to pay compensation

Togo

Togo 

Penal Code of 13 August 1980

Article 88

“Impudent acts or crimes against the nature with an individual of the same sex are punished with imprisonment from one to three years and 100,000-500,000 franc in fine.” (Unofficial translation)

Original text: ”Sera puni d’un emprisonnement d’un à trois ans et d’une amende de 100 000 à 500 000 francs quiconque aura commis un acte impudique ou contre nature avec un individu de son sexe.”

Imprisonment for a period between 1 year and 3 years; and
Fine between 100,000 and 500,000 francs

24 May 1984

30 Mar 1988

Tunisia

 Tunisia

 

 

Penal Code of 1913 (as modified)

Article 230

“The sodomy, that is not covered by any of the other previous articles, is punished with imprisonment for three years”.  (Unofficial translation)

Original text: ”La sodomie, si elle ne rentre dans aucun des cas prévus aux articles précédents, est punie de l’emprisonnement pendant trois ans.”

Imprisonment for 3 years

18 Mar 1969

29 Jun 2011

Uganda

 Uganda

The Penal Code Act of 1950 (Chapter 120) (as amended)

Section 145: Unnatural offences

“Any person who—

(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature;

(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.”

Imprisonment for life

21 Jun 1995

14 Nov 1995

Section 146: Attempt to commit unnatural offences

“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in section145 commits a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”

Imprisonment for 7 years
Section 148: Indecent practices

“Any person who, whether in public or in private, commits any act of gross indecency with another person or procures another person to commit any act of gross indecency with him or her or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any person with himself or herself or with another person, whether in public or in private, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”

Imprisonment for 7 years

Zambia

Zambia 

Penal Code Act (as amended by Act No. 15 of 2005)

Section 155: Unnatural offences

“Any person who-

(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or

(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature;
commits a felony and liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for a term not less than fifteen years and may be liable to imprisonment for life:

Provided that where a person-

(i) has carnal knowledge of a child against the order of nature;

(ii) causes a child to have carnal knowledge of an animal; or

(iii) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of 
a male or female child against the order of nature; that person commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for not less than twenty-five years and may be liable to imprisonment for life.”

Imprisonment for a minimum of 15 years and maximum of life

Imprisonment for a minimum of 25 years if committed on a child

10 Apr 1984

10 Apr 1984

 

Section 156: Attempt to commit unnatural offences

”Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in section one hundred and fifty-five commits a felony and is liable, upon conviction of not less than seven years but not exceeding fourteen years.”

Imprisonment for a period between 7 years and 14 years

 

 

Section 158: Indecent practices between persons of the same sex

“(1) Any male who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with a male child or person, or procures a male child or person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male child or person, whether in public or private, commits a felony and is liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years and not exceeding fourteen years.

Imprisonment for a period between 7 years and 14 years
(2) Any female who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with a female child or person, or procures a female child or person to commit any act of gross indecency with her, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any female person with himself or with another female child or person, whether in public or private, commits a felony and is liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years and not exceeding fourteen years. Imprisonment for a period between 7 years and 14 years
(3) A child who, whether in public or private, commits any
act of gross indecency with another child of the same sex or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any person with the child’s self or with another child or person
of the same sex, whether in public or private, commits an offence and is liable, to such community service or counseling as the court may determine in the best interests of the child.” Community service or counseling

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe 

Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Effective July 8, 2006)

Section 73: Sodomy


“(1) Any male person who, with the consent of another male person, knowingly performs with that other person anal sexual intercourse, or any act involving physical contact
other than anal sexual intercourse that would be regarded by a reasonable person to be an indecent act, shall be guilty of sodomy and liable to a fine up to or exceeding level fourteen or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or both.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), both parties to the performance of an act referred to in subsection (1) may be charged with and convicted of sodomy.

(3) For the avoidance of doubt it is declared that the competent charge against a male person who performs anal sexual intercourse with or commits an indecent act upon a young male person—

(a) who is below the age of twelve years, shall be aggravated indecent assault or indecent assault, as the case may be; or

(b) who is of or above the age of twelve years but below the age of sixteen years and without the consent of such young male person, shall be aggravated indecent assault or indecent assault, as the case may be; or

(c) who is of or above the age of twelve years but below the
age of sixteen years and with the consent of such young male person, shall be performing an indecent act with a young person.”

Imprisonment for up to 1 year; and/or
Fine up to or exceeding level 14

13 May 1991

-

 


[*]           Data and unofficial translations of laws are sourced from Lucas Paoli Itaborahy and Jingshu Zhu, State Sponsored Homophobia Report, (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, 6th ed, May 2013.

[†]           Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations, ‘Ratification status by country or by treaty’ <http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/TreatyBodyExternal/Treaty.aspx?Treaty=CCPR&Lang=en&gt;

One response to “Africa

  1. Pingback: We should act on Uganda’s oppression of gays | Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s