Bangladesh arrests 27 men on suspicion of being gay

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 20, 2017

The New York Times also notes that while police found condoms and lubricants there in addition to the drugs, the police did not charge them with homosexuality - a crime in Bangladesh - because they didn't observe the men having sex.

Commander of the Rapid Action Battalion, Jahangir Hossain Matubbor, said the accused, all aged between 20 and 22, would often meet at Chhayaneer Community Centre to "indulge in homosexual activities".

He said that they were initially faced with drug charges.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Muslim-majority Bangladesh - as in more than 70 other countries in the world, including neighboring India.

Almost 70 Muslim-majority countries have laws against homosexuality, and in Indonesia, two men were recently sentenced to public lashings for gay sex under a local law modeled after sharia.

Bangladesh's legal code prohibits "unnatural offenses", which it says includes voluntary "carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal". While the law is rarely used, it can result in up to life in prison.

Meanwhile, two LGBT activists were hacked to death in 2016 by suspected Islamist militants in Dhaka.

While some attacks were claimed by the Islamic State and Al Qaeda's South Asia wing, authorities maintain they were perpetrated by Bangladeshi extremists inspired by these terror groups.

Since then, numerous gays and lesbians have left the country after they received death threats.

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