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U.S Comment On Burundi President’s Call to Stone Gay People, Urges Respect For Human Rights

Following the comments made by Burundi’s President, Evariste Ndayishimiye, calling on citizens of the small African country to stone gay people, the United States, on Friday, expressed its concerns.

The president had reportedly said in a question and answer session with reporters and the public that if one wants to attract a curse to the country, then homosexuality should be accepted.

He further said that if these groups were found in the country, it would be better to lead them to a stadium and stone them. “And that cannot be a sin,” he added. 

These utterances had reportedly escalated a crackdown on sexual minorities in a nation where LGBT people face social exclusion and jail terms of up to two years if convicted of same-sex offenses.

The United States has expressed its concerns over these remarks made by the Burundian President.  

 “The United States is deeply troubled by President Ndayishimiye’s remarks targeting certain vulnerable and marginalized Burundians,” said Mattew Miller, the U.S State Department spokesperson, while calling on all of Burundi’s leaders to respect the ‘inherent dignity’ and ‘inalienable rights’, ensuring equal access to justice, of every citizen of Burundian society.

“Such efforts are an essential precursor to spur the economic growth necessary to improve conditions for all Burundians.” the statement read.

While the statement from the U.S. State Department didn’t directly address the remarks about the stoning of gay people, it was clearly alluded to Ndayishimiye’s remarks.

Although Burundi’s ties with the U.S only just improved in recent years, and the U.S statement on Friday did not threaten any repercussions, it should be noted that in May, when Uganda enacted a law with a death sentence penalty for certain categories of same-sex offenses, the United States had responded with sanctions,  such as travel restrictions and exclusion from a tariff-free trade deal.

 

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