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Up to 15 years in jail: Iraq criminalises same-sex relations

Up to 15 years in jail: Iraq criminalises same-sex relations

Image source: © canva
Weronika Paliczka,
29.04.2024 11:30

The Iraqi parliament has recently approved a law that criminalises same-sex relationships. The law stipulates jail terms ranging from 10 to 15 years.

The acceptance of same-sex relationships is still a controversial issue in many parts of the world. Couples who hold hands in public may often face ridicule, finger-pointing, and threats. In some cases, physical violence even occurs in countries that are considered to be progressive.

LGBT individuals are frequently assaulted and attacked for simply existing. Additionally, there are countries that have laws that ban same-sex relationships and punish those involved with imprisonment.

Iraq on war against love

On Saturday, 27 April, the Iraqi parliament passed a law which imposes harsh punishments on individuals who engage in same-sex relationships, including homosexuals and transgender people. The law stipulates a prison sentence of 10 to 15 years for those convicted. The government has justified this move by claiming that it is necessary to uphold religious values and protect Iraqi society from what they see as a trend of moral depravity and homosexuality that is sweeping the world.

The new law makes "biological sex change based on personal desire and inclination" and "intentionally acting like women" a crime and punishes trans people and doctors who perform gender reassignment surgery with up to three years in prison. A previous draft had proposed capital punishment for same-sex relations, but in the end, a change was made. 170 MPs were present at the session when the vote took place.

US State Department comments on new Iraqi law

The US State Department has spoken out on the inhumane law. It described the law as a "threat to human rights and freedoms". Amnesty International also criticised the legislation.

"The law’s passage rubber-stamps Iraq’s appalling record of rights violations against LGBT people and is a serious blow to fundamental human rights," Rasha Younes, a senior researcher with the LGBT Rights Program at Human Rights Watch, told Reuters.

Source: Dziennik Gazeta Prawna

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