Homosexuality is not a criminal offense in Rwanda. However, these people continue to come up against difficulties when exercising their rights. In the collective psyche, homosexuality is a western import and therefore cannot exist in Africa.
Meanwhile, Rwanda's northern neighbor, Uganda, is receiving heat for a "draconian" anti-gay bill being debated in its legislature. The coalition Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders says the draft language to criminalize homosexuality could be voted on in the Rwandan lower house of parliament by Friday. The draft code would then pass to the Rwandan senate for approval.
This week, the lower house of the Rwandan Parliament will vote on a draft revision of the penal code that will, for the first time, make homosexuality a crime in Rwanda. If the Chamber of Deputies approves, the draft code will likely go before the Rwandan Senate in early The proposed Ugandan law would prohibit all LGBT activism and organizing, would further criminalize consensual same-sex conduct between adults, which is already illegal in Uganda, and in some cases apply the death penalty.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General this week hopefully put an end to a long running smear campaign against the government of Rwanda by individuals and groups claiming or actually speaking on behalf of gay people in Rwanda and Africa in general. Whereas individual members of the Lower Chamber of Deputies proposed and were supposed to have debated the draft article in the penal code under review and legislature is independent of the executive, much of the blame and smear campaign was aimed at President Kagame and the government he leads. It is unfortunate that all the achievements Rwanda has achieved over the years were literally going up in smoke all over the globe in all forms of media over an issue that does not pose any real danger to our society. Homosexuals and homosexuality are issues that do not get discussed in the public in many African societies and people who are involved live secret lives hidden away in their privacies.
Advanced Search. A debate is being held on a draft revision of the penal code that will, for the first time, make homosexuality a crime. A vote on this draft code will occur before the end of the week.
In its Concluding Observations the Committee stated:. While noting the fact that same sex sexual relations of consenting adults are not criminalized, the Committee is concerned at legislation proposals to reverse that situation. The State party should ensure that criminal law reforms are in full conformity with articles 17 and 26 of the Covenant.
In an interview with Izuba Rirashe a Rwandan newspaper, Ruzindana said they are ready to be visible and operate in an open space for society and the state to know their existence and to fight for their freedom and right to existence. Despite the emergence of movements that have began advocating for the rights of sexual minority groups, many people in Rwanda continue to deny the existence of homosexuality in the country. Article of the draft act would introduce the criminalization of consensual same-sex acts and relationships as well as criminalizing the work of LGBT human rights defenders.
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In Rwanda eliminated the criminalisation provision from its draft code and recently signed two UN resolutions on sexual orientation and gender identity, as the only African nation to do so. More on the law of Rwanda at ilga org. On 16 Decemberthe national parliament debated whether to make homosexuality a criminal offense, with a punishment of 5—10 years' imprisonment.
Homosexuality is not de jure illegal in Rwanda, however it is treated as though it were. The Rwandan government proposed an amendment to the current penal code in December that would explicitly criminalize homosexuality in Articles and Any attempt to criminalize homosexuality is in direct violation of the Rwandan Constitution :. Article All human beings are equal before the law.