UN concerned about anti-gay and lesbian law in Liberia

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Liberian authorities have been warned against passing laws that discriminate against homosexuals.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed concern about a proposed amendment to the Penal Code to broadly criminalize homosexuality.

Under the proposed law, which has already been passed by the Senate, a person engaging in homosexual activities can be punished by up to five or more years imprisonment.

Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani says the UN human rights chief is also concerned about the atmosphere of intimidation and violence against gay and lesbian activists in Liberia.

"The proposals going through the legislature could make an already bad situation for lesbian and gay people in Liberia even worse. Legislation criminalising homosexuality can have a seriously negative impact, not only on gay and lesbian people but also on the most vulnerable populations, such as people living with HIV, sex workers, refugees and internally displaced populations who might be in need of special attention but will not come forward due to the high risk of stigmatisation, discrimination and possible violence."

(Duration: 27")

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