Zanzibar Gay Sex Ban Official
August 20, 2004
By 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Zanzibar—A law imposing a prison term of up to 25 years
for anyone convicted of having gay sex has gone into effect in Zanzibar, an
archipelago off the east African coast.
While gay men could be sentenced to a quarter century
behind bars the penalty for lesbian sex is seven years. The gay sex sentence
is the same as that for murder.
The law went into effect this week after it was signed by
president, Amani Karume. Zanzibar’s parliament, in a rare show of unity,
passed the bill unanimously in April.
“There is no difference between sodomy and murder,”
said Sheikh Muhammed Said, a Zanzibar Islamic leader.
“This is what we have been aspiring for,” he said of
Islamic groups have been calling for a more puritanical
approach to public affairs on the Tanzanian Indian Ocean island, which is
International human rights groups have condemned the new
law and travel agencies, mainly in South Africa, have threatened to boycott
Zanzibar, which relies heavily on tourism revenue.
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