Burundi faces a growing, international backlash after the president secretly signs legislation—previously rejected by the Senate—that attempts legislate homosexuality out of existence in the small, impoverished East African nation.
Afrique et Lignet reports Belgium has "condemned" the law signed by President Pierre Nkurunziza and will discuss cutting aid to Burundi with its European Union partners.
Behind the Mask reports: "In a joint statement with other 62 African and international human rights organizations, Human Rights Watch accused the Burundian president’s staff of making calls to a number of legislators attempting to influence them to vote for the Bill which was then in parliament."
The draconian new legislation makes same-sex attraction or relations punishable by up to two years in prison. In November, the lower chamber of Parliament voted in favor of the amendment. The Senate rejected the amendment in February.
After the Senate stripped the amendment, Nkurunziza's party, the CNDD-FDD, led several massive government-organized, anti-gay demonstrations to demand the criminalization of homosexuality. One of the March protests attracted 20,000 protesters.