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President Everiste of Burundi Orders Stoning of Gay Couples

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Burundi’s President, Evariste Ndayishimiye, unleashed a vehement anti-gay tirade on Friday which left the lives of gay couples in great danger.

The President called for the public stoning of same-sex couples and criticized Western nations pressuring other countries to adopt gay rights or face aid cuts.

Homosexuality has been illegal in Burundi since 2009, with prison sentences of up to two years for consensual same-sex acts. President Ndayishimiye, a Catholic, branded same-sex marriage an “abominable practice” and suggested public stoning for individuals, asserting it would not be a sin for those who carry it out.

“Personally, I think if we see these kinds of individuals in Burundi we should put them in a stadium and stone them. And it would not be a sin for those who do,” Ndayishimiye stated at a public event.

He also criticized Western countries urging smaller nations to accept gay marriage or risk losing aid, saying, “Let them keep their help, let them keep it.” The President warned Burundians abroad practicing homosexuality not to return, stating they have “chosen the devil.”

Homosexuality faces legal restrictions in many East African countries, often fueled by conservative religious beliefs. Uganda’s adoption of strict anti-gay laws in May triggered international condemnation and repercussions, including visa restrictions and trade deal removal by the United States.

In March, Burundi charged 24 people with “homosexual practices” during a crackdown on same-sex relationships following President Ndayishimiye’s call to treat gay people as “pariahs.”

While praised for ending Burundi’s isolation, Ndayishimiye has yet to address the nation’s poor human rights record, and it remains among the world’s poorest nations.

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