The government of Nauru has announced it’s decriminalising homosexuality and suicide, after a Iranian refugee was convicted with attempting suicide in April. A media release from the Nauruan government says it “continues to show progressive leadership and in keeping with its legislative agenda, has passed a new number of laws including the decriminalising of homosexuality and suicide”. The release addresses a number of issues, saying:

“… [the Crimes Act 2016] updates criminal penalties to appropriately apply to Nauru’s current domestic circumstances and removes references to punishments that are inconsistent with international human rights standards — for example, penalties such as the death penalty, imprisonment with hard labour, and solitary confinement have been removed, while the penalties for sexual offences, particularly relating to children, have been increased; …”

Abortion remains a criminal offence “where not carried out as part of a ‘lawful medical procedure'”, while rape has been given “a broader definition and now applicable to married and de facto couples”. The changes also include child marriage, pornography and “unlawful assembly and rioting”.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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