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Nine gay men arrested in Burma for ‘acting inappropriately’

Nine gay men arrested in Burma for ‘acting inappropriately’

Nine gay men have been arrested in Mandalay for ‘acting inappropriately’ even though they had not committed any crimes.

The region’s minister of border and security affairs, Myint Kyu, vowed to crack down on LGBTI people and increase police presence at the city’s moat, an oasis for the LGBTI community.

‘The existence of gay men who assume they are women is unacceptable and therefore we are constantly taking action to have the gays detained at police stations, educate them, then hand them back to their parents,’ he told a regional parliamentary session in August.

Kyu also indicated that authorities had recently ‘checked on’ a group of gay men after being informed they were ‘acting inappropriately’ and arrested nine of them.

He said the men were ‘educated’ and then released on bond when it was found they had not committed any crimes.

‘Burma’s government has a responsibility to ensure noxious statements about gay people don’t go unchallenged,’ said Graeme Reid, Human Right Watch’s LGBT rights director.

‘Unless the government speaks out against such hateful words, it could open the door to more abuse of the sort described by this minister.’

Gay sex is illegal in Burma under a British colonial-era law and punishable by up to life imprisonment.

In July 2013, plainclothes police officers arrested 10 gay men and transgender women and abused them in detention.