Burundi’s president says homosexuals should be stoned to death amid a massive crackdown on the LGBTQ community in the East African country.
According to Reuters, last Friday, Burundian President Evaristo Ndayishimiye said in a question and answer session with journalists and the public: “If you want to bring a curse on your country, accept homosexuality.”
“I even think that if you find people like this in Burundi, you should take them to the stadium and throw stones at them. And it’s not a sin,” he continued, arguing that homosexuality was imported from the West. He claimed that there was.
The Burundi leader’s comments come amid growing concern over anti-gay statements and laws across the continent. Burundi already criminalizes same-sex sexual acts, punishable by up to two years in prison.
A gay rights activist in the country who spoke to The New York Times on condition of anonymity said on Sunday that the president’s comments “exacerbate an already dangerous environment.”
Ndayishimiye’s comments come months after Uganda enacted an anti-gay law, drawing condemnation from human rights groups and international political leaders on both sides of the United States.
The law imposes harsh penalties on people who identify as homosexuals, including the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.” The country defines it as cases of sexual relations involving people with HIV, minors and other vulnerable people, according to the Associated Press.
Those found guilty of “attempted aggravated sodomy” could be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison. The law and continued harassment of LGBTQ members have led some to attempt to flee Uganda.
Earlier this month, the State Department announced an expansion of its previous visa restriction policy targeting “those believed to be responsible for or complicit in undermining Uganda’s democratic process.”
The policy now also applies to officials and others who engage in or are complicit in “policies or actions aimed at oppressing marginalized or vulnerable people.”
Uganda has accused the US of promoting an “LGBT agenda” following opposition from the Biden administration.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.