December 4, 2008

Kurdish journalist jailed for homosexuality article

by David Masters

A Kurdish journalist in Iraq has been jailed for six months after publishing an article on homosexuality.

At a court in Irbil, northern Iraq, Doctor Adel Hussein was awarded the jail sentence and fined 125,000 dinars (£72) on the accusation of ‘offending public decency’.

The article in question explained the physical effects of homosexual sex from a scientific point of view.

Hawlati, the independent weekly newspaper which published the article, said Hussein’s article was about sexual health and education, and as such Hussein should not have been tried under public decency laws.

Press freedom group, Reporters Without Borders, said the criminal code which Hussein is accused of breaking was superseded by a more liberal media law earlier this year.

The new law does not recognise the violation of public custom or public decency as a legal offence.

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