Persecution Alert

Ivory Coast officials refuse to explain why two gay men were jailed

26 January 2017

Authorities in the Ivory Coast have refused to explain why two gay men were arrested and jailed in a country that does not criminalise same-sex acts, and is widely regarded as a beacon of tolerance for sexual minorities.

Yann, 31, and Abdoul, 19, are openly gay but deny any romantic relationship. They were arrested in October in a village in southwestern Ivory Coast, apparently for “public indecency”.

Though prosecutors have declined to confirm the charge against them, activists say if the indecency law was used it would be the first known instance of the provision being used to jail gay people in the country.



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