An European Union commissioner has expressed his “shock” at the passing of a law in Burundi which criminalises sexual relations between consenting same-sex adults.

The matter was raised by the president of the European Parliament’s “all-party” Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights, Michael Cashman MEP, at the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific-European Union joint parliamentary assembly.

Cashman raised the issue directly with the European Commissioner for development and humanitarian aid Louis Michael and called upon the European Commission to raise the issue with Burundi government.

“The Commissioner expressed that he was shocked to learn of this law and stressed that this is a very serious issue,” Cashman said in a statement.

“He told the Assembly he will travel to Burundi and discuss his concerns with the government,” Cashman added.

The legislation was approved by the Burundi Parliament earlier this week. It is not yet known if the matter has yet gone to the Senate.

The afrol News website reported on Tuesday that the Senate “may vote on the bill as early as tomorrow and if it passes, Burundian President Nkurunziza will likely sign it into law”.

On Tuesday, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in New York issued an “action alert” on this legislation.

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