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Ethiopia to pass bill deemed anti-gay

25 March 2014, 13:40

Addis Ababa - Lawmakers in Ethiopia are set to pass a bill that puts homosexuality on a list of offenses considered "non-pardonable" under the country's amnesty law.

The measure, endorsed last week by Ethiopia's Council of Ministers, is widely expected to pass when it is put to a vote next week.

In Ethiopia, same-sex acts are illegal and punishable by up to 15 years in prison. A 25-year jail term is also prescribed for anyone convicted of infecting another person with HIV during same-sex acts.

Ethiopia's president often pardons thousands of prisoners during the Ethiopian New Year. If the bill becomes law, the president will lose his power to pardon prisoners who faced charges ranging from homosexuality to terrorism.

Homosexuality is criminalised in many African countries.

- AP


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