Homophobia

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 16th June 2008.

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Photo of Sarah Teather Sarah Teather Shadow Secretary of State (Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in which countries his Department assesses (a) gay men and (b) lesbian women who are (i) citizens and (ii) visitors are at risk of persecution.

Photo of Meg Munn Meg Munn Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

There are nine countries that have a maximum penalty of death for consenting same sex relations. They are: Iran, Iraq, Mauritania, Nigeria (in 12 northern states where Sharia law operates), Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Yemen.

There are ten countries that have a maximum of life imprisonment for consenting same sex relations. They are: Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Burma, Guyana, India, Maldives, Nepal, Singapore and Uganda.

Other countries criminalise consenting same sex relations but with lesser penalties.

There are a number of other countries where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people may be at risk of persecution. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) Travel Advice points to countries where there might be a risk of persecution for visitors. The FCO also provides specific advice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on the range of issues that they might face abroad. This can be found at: www.fco.gov.uk/travel.

The Government oppose persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people wherever it occurs. FCO officials have been active in promoting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

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