May 19, 2024

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Iraq has passed a law making homosexuality punishable by up to 15 years in prison

Iraq has passed a law making homosexuality punishable by up to 15 years in prison

Anyone who undergoes “sex reassignment” surgery and the doctor who performs it faces one to three years in prison.

Iraq's parliament this Saturday approved amendments to its anti-prostitution law that would criminalize same-sex relationships and transgender expressions, now punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

The legislature noted that the amendments were approved “to protect the moral dignity of Iraqi society from calls to homosexuality that have invaded the world” and “due to Iraq's lack of laws punishing homosexual acts and those who promote them.” “According to a report

The Acting Speaker of the Lower House, Mohsen Al Mandalawi, said the approval of the amendments was a “necessary step to protect the structure of society and children's values, which, accordingly, invite immorality and homosexuality.” For another statement.

Amendments to the anti-prostitution law, which has been in place since 1988, were approved in a session attended by 170 of the 329 representatives that make up the Iraqi Chamber. Henceforth, Iraqi law punishes any same-sex relationship with 10 to 15 years in prison for dinars (about $7,600).

Anyone who undergoes “sex reassignment” surgery and the doctor who performs it faces one to three years in prison. The law also provides for punishments for any male exhibiting “severe conduct”.

“Iraqi parliament's approval of anti-LGBT law confirms Iraq's appalling record of rights violations against LGBT people,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) executive associate director Rasha Younes said in her X account. The human rights watchdog condemned the provision as “adding insult to injury for Iraqi LGBT people, who already face threats to their lives from armed groups.”

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A bill for this amendment was introduced in August 2023 by independent MP Ra'ad al-Maliki, and originally stipulated that same-sex relationships would be punishable by death or life imprisonment, while “promoting homosexuality” would be punishable by at least seven years in prison. and fines.

Although consensual same-sex relationships are not explicitly criminalized in Iraq, authorities have used vague “morality” laws to persecute members of the group.

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