The African nation has announced a crackdown on LGBT+ people.
Two teenagers have been arrested for dancing together in Burundi as authorities start an “official hunt” for gay people in the country.
Victims are being held in prisons and are being asked to pay extortionate bribes for their freedom, which many cannot afford.
Police in Burundi announced that they are on the “hunt” for LGBT+ people, confirming that several had already been arrested.
Burundi was one of the 13 countries to vote against the United Nations ban on using the death penalty for LGBT+ people, and it’s believed the motion has “some influence” on this crackdown.
“The reason is just they are gay, and the government says it is against Burundian culture,” human rights journalist Bakari Ubena told GSN.
“Gay people must have a hidden life. LGBT associations have been closed by police.”
Jean-Daniel Ndikumana – a gay advocate from Burundi – says that he believes police found a video of the men dancing together on Facebook.
“I was afraid when I saw this video, given the situation of Burundi for LGBTI people,” he said.
“I know them very well because I was their project manager from 2010 to 2013. Thankfully, I was able to leave my country because of my sexual orientation, as I was in danger due to my activism.”
Under Burundi law, a person who has sexual relation with a member of the same sex may be punished with imprisonment for three months to two years, as well as incurring a fine.