LGBT Rights in Mauritania
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LGBT Rights in Mauritania
StatusIllegal: Islamic Sharia Law is applied
PenaltyCapital punishment for men, (not enforced); prison and a fine for women
Gender identityNo
Discrimination protectionsNone
Family rights
Recognition of relationshipsNo recognition of same-sex relationships

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Mauritania face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Mauritania. Muslim men who have sex with men face stoning to death, though there have been no known cases of excutions caused by homosexuality charges in the country; whereas women who have sex with women face prison.[1]

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity

Law in Mauritania is based in Islamic Sharia.[2] According to the Article 308 of the 1983 Criminal Code, "Any adult Muslim man who commits an impudent or unnatural act with an individual of his sex will face the penalty of death by public stoning" (Rajm).[3]:522 Women face prison between three months to two years imprisonment, and a fine of 5,000 to 60,000 Mauritanian Ouguiya.

Living conditions

The U.S. Department of State's 2011 human rights report found that, "There were no criminal prosecutions during the year. There was no evidence of societal violence, societal discrimination, or systematic government discrimination based on sexual orientation. There were no organizations advocating for sexual orientation or gender-identity rights, but there were no legal impediments to the operation of such groups."[4]

Summary table

Same-sex sexual activity legal No (Penalty: Execution for men, not enforced; prison and a fine for women)
Equal age of consent No
Anti-discrimination laws in employment only No
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services No
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriages No
Recognition of same-sex couples No
Stepchild adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
LGBT people allowed to serve openly in the military No
Right to change legal gender No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples No
MSMs allowed to donate blood No

See also


  1. ^ Rupar, Terri (24 February 2014). "Here are the 10 countries where homosexuality may be punished by death". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2014-06-29. Mauritania: Muslim men engaging in homosexual sex can be stoned to death, according to a 1984 law. Women face prison.
  2. ^ "Compilation prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with paragraph 15(b) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1: Mauritania", United Nations Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Ninth session, Geneva, A/HRC/WG.6/9/MRT/2, 10 August 2010, paragraph 8, page 3
  3. ^ Ghai, Ritu (2012). "Deciphering Motive: Establishing Sexual Orientation as the 'One Central Reason' for Persecution in Asylum Claims" (PDF). Columbia Law School. 43 (2). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 May 2014. The official text of Article 308 in French provides, "Tout musulman majeur qui aura commis un acte impudique ou contre nature avec un individu de son sexe sera puni de peine de mort par lapidation publique." "Ordonnance 83-162 du 09 juillet 1983 portant institution d'un Code Pénal", Journal Officiel de la République Islamique de Mauritanie n° 608-609, Date de promulgation: 9 July 1983, Date de publication: 29 February 1984, page 63
  4. ^ 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Mauritania, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, pages 24-5

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