Last edited: October 31, 2004

Two Men Flee Muslim Law Enforcers

Behind the Mask, October 18, 2004

2 men in Burundi have had to flee following arrests by Muslim law enforcers who discovered the pair together in the Muslim quarter of Bujumbura.

Activists in Burundi have been frantically trying to secure funds and safe passage for 2 men arrested under Muslim law in Burundi recently, when they were discovered having sex.

One of the men was imprisoned and sentenced to death by the Islamic court but was set free when activists intervened and assisted in getting him released from custody. The man has now fled to neighbouring Rwanda. The second man was kept in hiding in a Bujumbura home until he could be smuggled to the countryside where he awaits safe passage out of the country.

Activists in Burundi are putting a positive slant on the incident. “We need to appeal to government to change the laws regarding homosexuality—this is a good example of how there is a problem and why we need change.”

The idea that Islamic law can be enforced regardless of national law is of great concern to activists. However, they were not without words of warning to the men also. “It was very risky and not at all wise of them to behave as they did.”

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