Britain’s International Development Minister Ivan Lewis has spoken out against Burundi’s decision to adopt a law which criminalises gay sex.
In accordance with the new law, consensual same-sex relations are punishable by up to two years in prison and an eighty dollar fine.
During a meeting with Burundi’s president, Pierre Nkurunziza, Lewis warned that the African country was out of step with global opinion.
Lewis said: “In any society, it should be totally unacceptable to criminalise anyone because of their sexual orientation.
“I have raised with the president the UK’s concerns about the new penal code which criminalises gay sex. The UK government has made it clear to the president and the government of Burundi that this legislation is unacceptable and should be repealed as a matter of urgency.
“It is important to highlight that the UK Department for International Development campaigns and supports a broad range of human rights across the world. It is my sincere hope that the government of Burundi listens to the UK, the EU and other members of the international community and repeals this law.
“It must allow Burundi’s gay and lesbian community to live their lives free from harassment, intimidation and the threat of jail.”