LGBT rights in Mauritania

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LGBT rights in Mauritania Mauritania
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Illegal: Islamic Shari'a law applied
Capital punishment, although no executions for any crime since 1990
Gender identity/expression -
Discrimination protections None
Family rights
Recognition of
No 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, whereas women who have sex with women face prison.[1]

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Shari'a law applies in Mauritania.[2]

According to an unofficial English translation of Article 308 of the 1983 Criminal Code, "Any adult Muslim man who commits an impudent act against nature with an individual of his sex will face the penalty of death by public stoning."[3]:522 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."[4] Mauritania claims, however, that no one has been executed for any criminal offense since at least 1990.[5] The United States embassy in Mauritania said in December 2009 that it was "aware of no case ever being prosecuted under the anti-homosexual laws".[6]

Living conditions[edit]

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."[7]

Summary table[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal No (Penalty: Death by stoning; however, no executions for any crime since 1987)
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
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples No
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
Gays and lesbians 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[edit]


  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 29 June 2014. 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. 
  4. ^ "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
  5. ^ "National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15(a) 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/1, 23 August 2010, paragraph 49, page 12
  6. ^ "Mauritanian Law and Practice Related to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity", Cable from the United States Embassy in Nouakchott to the United States Secretary of State, reference no. 09NOUAKCHOTT815, 27 December 2009
  7. ^ 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Mauritania, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, pages 24-5