World Facts

Countries With the Most Extreme Punishment for Homosexuality

Brunei recently joined the list of countries where homosexuality is punishable by death.

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Many countries around the world have historically had harsh penalties for homosexuality. Today a small number of countries or regions in those countries still have laws allowing the death penalty. However, this law is not always necessarily carried out. However, sometimes death penalties are executed by militia groups in countries such as Iraq. In Europe, Adolf Hitler outlawed groups accused of homosexuality with the support of the National Socialist German Workers Parties. Those suspected of homosexuality were sent to concentration camps where between 3,000 and 9,000 people died between 1933 and 1945. 

Although several Muslim nations incorporate Sharia law in their legal systems, only a small number carry out harsh punishment for homosexuality. Below is a list of countries who have laws that punish homosexuality with capital punishment. 

Brunei

Brunie’s move to impose a death sentence for homosexuality has led to widespread international condemnation. The new Islamic laws makes same-sex relationships punishable by stoning to death. Before the introduction of the rules, homosexuality was still illegal and was punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s law takes after Sharia law, and until recently the carrying out of harsh and extreme punishment was common in public. Homosexuality is not only illegal by also comes with punishment by execution. 

Sudan

Sudan adopted sharia law in 1983 but is seen to implement it randomly. Death by stoning remains legal but has not been carried out in decades. Activists, however, note that women are still flogged for immorality.

Nigeria

In twelve out of the 36 states in Nigeria, Sharia law extends to matters of criminal law. The courts in those states can order amputations.

Somalia

The penal code in the country stipulates imprisonment for homosexuality, but the Islamic courts in the southern region impose strict sharia law which allows the death penalty.

Mauritania

According to a 1984 law, Muslim men engaging in homosexuality can be stoned to death in Mauritania. However, the law has not been actively practiced.

Yemen

In Yemen, the 1994 penal code allows the stoning of married men who engage in homosexuality. Unmarried men face one year in prison or whipping while women face imprisonment for up to seven years.

Acceptance in the world

While homosexuality is legal in most of the world, the acceptance and equality of the LGBT community is not universal, and there are still great strides to be made. Some of the first countries to legalize gay marriage include the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, and Spain. 

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