The United Nations (UN) said it was “alarmed” on Monday April 29 by a new law, adopted by the Iraqi parliament, criminalizing homosexual relations and gender transitions. She called for its repeal. “This law goes against several human rights treaties and conventions ratified by Iraq, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and should be repealed,” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson. word of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in a press release.

The new provisions provide for sentences of ten to fifteen years in prison for homosexual relations, as well as for swinging practices involving wives, according to the text consulted by Agence France-Presse (AFP). The law also bans “any organization promoting homosexuality in Iraq,” with a seven-year prison sentence for “promoting” same-sex relations.

It prohibits “the change of biological sex on the basis of individual desires or inclinations” and provides for a penalty of one to three years of imprisonment for any person or doctor involved in this transition. A similar punishment is provided for any man whose behavior is deemed effeminate.

“Violation of human rights”

“There is ample evidence that these laws also legitimize bias, expose people to hate crimes, police abuse, harassment, intimidation, blackmail and torture,” Shamdasani noted. “Furthermore, they perpetuate discrimination and denial of access to basic services, including health care, education and housing,” she added.

The organization Amnesty International criticized the AFP for a “violation of fundamental human rights”. The US State Department said it was “deeply concerned” on Saturday by this legislation. Its spokesperson, Matthew Miller, deplores that the law threatens the most vulnerable people in Iraqi society and “undermines the government’s economic and political reform efforts.”