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Ethiopia: Lawmakers to put homosexuality on list of ‘non-pardonable’ offenses

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Ethiopia is already one of many African countries where homosexuality is illegal, but lawmakers are set to pass a bill that will add to the criminal nature of same-sex acts in the country. According to a report by the Associated Press on March 25, the new bill will add homosexuality to the list of offenses considered “non-pardonable” under the country’s amnesty law.

What this means is that any personal jailed for committing what the country deems as a homosexual act will not be pardoned as the bill will strip the power of Ethiopia President Mulatu Teshome to pardon prisoners who faced charges ranging from homosexuality to terrorism.

As the measure endorsed by Ethiopia’s Council of Ministers is expected to pass, the “non –pardonable” association shows just how much of a crime the country considers homosexuality to be, basically grouping it on a similar level to that of terrorism. Same-sex acts in Ethiopia are already punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Uganda was the latest African country to pass an anti-gay law and came under international criticism, which also resulted in some European countries stopping aide to Uganda. Ethiopia could face similar backlash.

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