Jubilation over the rejection of a bill that aimed to criminalise homosexuality by the Burundi senate last month may have been premature.
It’s emerged that the African country’s lawmakers are determined to revive the proposed law that would jail offenders for up to two years.
Last week, the lower house of the National Assembly reinstated the penal code clause criminalising “anyone who engages in sexual relations with a person of the same sex” back into the bill.
Pie Ntavyohanyuma, President of the Assembly, said that a committee would work with the senate to forge a compromise that would be acceptable to both. Failing an agreement, the national assembly can override the senate.
The move follows between 10,000 and 20,000 Burundians recently taking to the streets to demand that homosexuality be criminalised.
If passed, this would be first so-called “sodomy law” in the country’s history. Human Rights Watch said the provision would violate the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Burundi is a party.