Death penalty for homosexuality
The death penalty for homosexuality was historically implemented by a number of countries worldwide. It currently remains a legal punishment in several countries and regions, all of which have sharia-based criminal laws. Being prescribed by the law does not necessarily mean that the penalty is carried out in practice. Gay people have also fallen victim to extrajudicial killings by state and non-state actors.
In current state lawsEdit
As of 2019, the following jurisdictions, all of which have sharia-based criminal laws, prescribe the death penalty for homosexuality:
- Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Penal Code does not refer to homosexuality explicitly, but provides for prosecuting it under the sharia category of zina (illicit sexual intercourse), which according to some traditional Islamic legal schools may entail the hadd (sharia-prescribed) punishment of stoning, when strict evidential requirements are met. The Hanafi school, prevalent in Afghanistan, does not regard homosexual acts as a hadd crime, although Afghan judges may potentially apply the death penalty for a number of reasons. No known death sentences for homosexuality have been passed since the end of Taliban rule in 2001.
- Brunei's Sharia Penal Code, implemented in stages since 2014, prescribes death by stoning as punishment for sex between men. This applies to Muslims, and non-Muslims including those on Brunei ships and aircraft and those in transit.
- Iran. Homosexual intercourse is declared a capital offense in Iran's Islamic Penal Code, enacted in 1991. Though the grounds for execution in Iran are difficult to track, there is evidence that several people were hanged for homosexual behavior in 2005-2006 and in 2016, in some cases on dubious charges of rape.
- Mauritania. According to a 1984 law, Muslim men can be stoned for engaging in homosexual sex, though no executions have occurred so far.
- Nigeria, where several northern states have adopted sharia-based criminal laws.
- Pakistan, where the death penalty for homosexual acts is technically permitted by the law, but not applied in practice.
- Qatar, applicable only to Muslims, for extramarital sex regardless of the gender of the participants. There is no evidence that the death penalty has been applied for consensual same-sex relations taking place between adults and in private.
- Saudi Arabia, which does not have codified criminal laws. According to the country's interpretation of sharia, a married man who commits sodomy, or a non-Muslim who engages in sodomy with a Muslim, can be stoned to death. There were unconfirmed reports that two cross-dressing Pakistani nationals were killed by Saudi authorities in 2017, which Saudi officials have denied.
- Somalia ( Jubaland), where Islamic courts have imposed sharia-based death penalties in some southern regions.
- Sudan, for a third conviction
- Yemen. According to a 1994 law, married men can be sentenced to death by stoning for engaging in homosexual intercourse.
There is a dispute among legal experts as to whether the law of the United Arab Emirates allows for the death penalty for homosexuality; a recent Amnesty International report found no instances of death sentences.
Anti-gay purges in the Chechen Republic, a part of the Russian Federation, have included forced disappearances — secret abductions, imprisonment, and torture — by authorities targeting persons based on their perceived sexual orientation. An unknown number of men, who authorities detained on suspicion of being gay or bisexual, have reportedly died after being held in what human rights groups and eyewitnesses have called concentration camps.
Australian states and territories inherited British laws relating to homosexuality, and laws passed in nineteenth century colonial parliaments retained the provisions which made homosexual activity a capital crime. Over time, various jurisdictions began to reduce the death penalty for sodomy to life imprisonment, with Victoria being the last to remove the death penalty for this crime, in 1949. The last person arrested for homosexual sex in Australia was a man in 1984 in Tasmania. The last part of Australia to legalise consensual homosexual sex between adults was Tasmania in 1997.
While many of the Christian majority countries in Europe, The Americas and Asia had begun to decriminalise homosexuality by the mid 20th century, Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers Party, with intense far-right nationalist support, outlawed homosexual groups and included homosexuals as one of the minority groups sent to concentration camps. An estimated 3000-9000 homosexuals died in concentration camps between 1933 and 1945, with another 2000-6000 survivors made to serve the rest of their sentence in prison under Paragraph 175.
From 1533 the capital felony for any person to "commit the detestable and abominable vice of buggery with mankind or beast," was repealed and re-enacted several times, until it was reinstated in 1563 remaining unchanged until 1861. The last execution took place on 27 November 1835 when James Pratt and John Smith were hanged at Newgate.
United States and colonial AmericaEdit
Colonial America had the laws of the United Kingdom, and the revolutionary states took many of those laws as the basis of their own, in some cases verbatim. The last law where the death penalty was on the statute books was South Carolina, the old British law was not repealed until 1873, twelve years after the mother country.
The number of times the penalty was carried out is unknown. Records support two executions, and a number of more uncertain convictions, such as "crimes against nature".
- "Here are the 10 countries where homosexuality may be punished by death". The Washington Post. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- "The Death Penalty in Afghanistan". Death Penalty Worldwide. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- correspondent, Hannah Ellis-Petersen South-east Asia (2019-03-28). "Brunei introduces death by stoning as punishment for gay sex". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
- Aengus Carroll; Lucas Paoli Itaborahy (May 2015). "State-Sponsored Homophobia: A World Survey of Laws: criminalisation, protection and recognition of same-sex love" (PDF). International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex association. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
- Asal, V.; Sommer, U. Legal Path Dependence and the Long Arm of the Religious State: Sodomy Provisions and Gay Rights Across Nations and Over Time. State University of New York Press. p. 64.
- "How homosexuality became a crime in the Middle East". The Economist. June 6, 2018.
- Bearak, Max; Cameron, Darla (16 June 2016). "Analysis - Here are the 10 countries where homosexuality may be punished by death". The Washington Post.
- Smith, Lydia (10 April 2017). "Chechnya detains 100 gay men in first concentration camps since the Holocaust". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
- Reynolds, Daniel (10 April 2017). "Report: Chechnya Is Torturing Gay Men in Concentration Camps". The Advocate. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
- Carbery, Graham (2010). "Towards Homosexual Equality in Australian Criminal Law: A Brief History" (PDF) (2nd ed.). Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives Inc.
- Louis Crompton (1976). "Homosexuals and the Death Penalty in Colonial America". Journal of Homosexuality. 1 (3): 277–293. doi:10.1300/j082v01n03_03. Retrieved 20 May 2016.