Last edited: February 14, 2005

Story Denied About Lesbian Executions

The Washington Blade, March 2, 2001
World Briefs

By Will O'Bryan

SOMALIA — Police in Puntland, an autonomous Somali region that does not recognize the central government, have denied reports that a Lesbian couple has been sentenced to death, according to the BBC.

Several international news services carried the story last week, first printed in Mogadishus Qaran newspaper, that the two women had been convicted of "exercising unnatural behavior."

According to the BBC, Qaran has printed an apology to its readers, and Puntland police say no such case ever came before Puntland courts.

While governmental infrastructure throughout Somalia is scant, Puntland does have a court system based loosely on Somali Criminal Punishment Law, a loose interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

The Belgium-based International Lesbian and Gay Association reports that sexual relations between men are illegal under Somali Criminal Punishment Law, although the law is more ambiguous about sex between women. The United States does not maintain a diplomatic presence in Somalia, nor does Somalia operate an embassy in the United States.

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