Burundi LGBT Laws

Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

Law No. 1/05 of 22 April 2009 concerning the revision of the Penal Code [L1.5].

Article 567: “Whoever has sexual relations with someone of the same sex shall be punished with imprisonment for three months to two years and a fine of fifty thousand to one hundred thousand francs or one of those penalties” (Unofficial translation).

On 10 October 2017, it was reported that Burundi announced an ‘official hunt’ for LGBTI people. Several LGBTI people, including teenagers, are being held in jails and forced to pay extortionate bribes for their freedom. Those who can’t afford it face beatings, extreme fines or up to two years’ imprisonment [R1.4].

In March 2009, the government of Burundi criminalised homosexuality, punishing offenders with up to two years in prison. The National Assembly reversed a Senate vote which rejected the amendment to the new criminal code. In cases of conflict between the two houses of Parliament the Assembly prevails and president Pierre Nkurunziza secretly signed the legislation into law on April 22th [R1.3].

In February 2009, the Senate of Burundi rejected a proposed amendment to the new draft of the criminal code that would have criminalised homosexual conduct for the first time [R1.2].

In November 2008, homosexuality was made unlawful, following a landmark parliamentary session which also saw the death penalty abolished [R1.1].

L1.5 ILGA: State-sponsored Homophobia PDF 3.3MB, 15 MAY 13
R1.4 GayStarNews: Two gay teens arrested for dancing together as Burundi starts ‘official hunt’ for LGBTI people 10 OCT 17
R1.3 PinkNews.co.uk: Burundi outlaws homosexuality 27 APR 09
R1.2 PinkNews.co.uk: Burundi Rejects Proposal to Criminalise Homosexual Relations 17 FEB 09
R1.1 MCV: Burundi Passes Gay Ban 27 NOV 08