Nicaragua: Article 204: legalizing the repression of homosexuality

Index Number: AMR 43/003/1994

A March 1994 ruling by the Nicaraguan Supreme Court has upheld legislation introduced in 1992 to penalize homosexuality. Article 204 of the Nicaraguan Penal Code now provides that “anyone who induces, promotes, propagandizes or practices in scandalous form sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex commits the crime of sodomy”. It also contains a provision criminalizing homosexual relations in private where one of the partners is in a position of responsibility over the other. AI fears that the broad and undefined terms used to formulate Article 204 could lead to people being imprisoned as prisoners of conscience. The organization considers Article 204 to be in violation of international norms which guarantee the right to non-discrimination, freedom of expression and privacy.

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