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Cablegate: Response: Information On Human Rights Trends Pertaining

VZCZCXRO8257
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #1021/01 3641620
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 301620Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5548
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NIAMEY 001021

DEPT FOR AF/FO, AF/W, DRL/EA, AND AF/RSA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV SOCI SCUL NG
SUBJECT: Response: Information on Human Rights Trends Pertaining
to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Ref: a) State 130765 b) Amb. Allen - A/S Carson E-Mail exchanges
of 12/22/09

1. Summary: Niger is a conservative country both culturally and
religiously, and homosexuality is not discussed publicly. There are
no provisions in the 1993 Penal Code that make homosexuality
illegal, and there are no advocacy groups regarding homosexuality.
While there is tolerance of homosexuality, particularly by the
younger generation in Niamey, Niger remains a largely rural nation
where many deny that it even exists. End summary.

2. In response to Ref A, Embassy Niamey wishes to respond as
follows, keyed to specific information requested:

A. Provisions of existing laws that might criminalize same-sex
relationships and how such are applied:

The only existing laws in Niger that may pertain to homosexuality
and/or gender identity are the following from the Penal Code of
1993:

-- Article 275 Public Indecency - Public indecency is any material
act that affronts public decency committed under conditions that a
third party likely to be offended by it has witnessed or may have
witnessed.

-- Article 276 Public Indecency - Any person who commits public
indecency will be punished by three months to three years of prison
and a fine between 10,000 and 100,000 francs CFA.

-- Article 277 Indecent Assault - Any indecent act committed with
impunity directly on a person of one or the other sex constitutes
indecent assault.

-- Article 282 Lewd Act on Minor of the Same Sex - Whoever has
committed a lewd act or an act against nature on a minor of the same
sex under twenty-one years of age will be punished by imprisonment
of three months to three years and levied a find of 10,000 to
100,000 francs CFA.

B. Past or present debate, pro or con, on the issue of
homosexuality:

Homosexuality is not debated, at least publicly, in Niger.

C. Resultant legislation pending, passed, or defeated:

No legislature is pending, and none was passed or defeated.
Homosexuality is considered a taboo subject. So far, no individual
cases have been reported that have led to a demand for legislation
regarding homosexuality specifically.

D. Summary of public attitudes regarding sexual orientation and
gender identity and levels of tolerance of homosexual behavior:

While most Nigeriens are conservative religiously and culturally,
there is greater tolerance of homosexuality at present in Niamey
than previously. Even so, many Nigeriens deny that homosexuality
exists in Niger. Gender roles are strongly rooted in tradition;
however, men working in areas usually reserved for women is more
common today than in years before.

E. Specific differentiation among groups - such as youth vs. elders,
churches vs. Islamic views, political parties, NGOs, etc.:

Niger is largely rural and conservative, both culturally and
religiously. Younger, more urban society is more tolerant of
homosexuality than others.

F. Active advocacy campaigns by domestic religious groups or
external actors:

There are no advocacy efforts underway to post's knowledge, either
domestically or internationally.

G. Advocacy campaigns by domestic cultural or other domestic
interest groups, or news events that may have catalyzed debate:

There are no advocacy efforts underway to post's knowledge, either
domestically or internationally, nor have news events catalyzed
debate on the topic.

H. Other domestic considerations, including prostitution, or sex
tourism:

Although prostitution does exist in Niamey and other larger urban
areas, sex tourism is not apparent.

I. Other domestic political factors, including electoral politics
that may play a role or have influenced debate or legislation

NIAMEY 00001021 002 OF 002


restricting the rights of homosexuals:

There are no political factors involved in influencing the rights of
homosexuals.

ALLEN

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