Botswana: Plan to deport 'gay foreigners'

Botswana plans to deport gay foreigners, reports suggest.

Government officials have discussed a strategy to detain homosexuals if they are locals - or deport them if they are foreigners - for "disorderly and indecent" behaviour, reports Mmegi newspaper. It seems prostitutes face the same treatment. Uyapo Ndadi, director of Bonela, an NGO which aims to protect the rights of people with Aids, told the daily that "the government continues to introduce unlawful and unconstitutional laws without consulting the people".

Dakar-based pan-African APA News agency claims that even foreigners with valid papers could be detained for 48 hours before it's decided whether they are to be deported. There are growing fears that the powers of arrest given to the police and the department of immigration could lead to a "witch-hunt", it reports. Botswana, which has seen an influx of refugees in recent years from Angola, Namibia, Somalia, Zimbabwe and the Great Lakes region, is known for its strict immigration policies. It has also been criticised for having anti-gay laws that punish "unnatural offences" and "indecent practices" with a jail sentence of up to five years.

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