Bangladesh jails ‘married’ lesbian couple

Love blossomed in a Bangladeshi factory but their happiness ended with arrest, medical gender tests and prison

A lesbian couple from the Jhalakati District of Bangladesh have are in jail because of their relationship.

Lucky and Mishti met and fell in love in a factory in the capital, Dhaka. They ‘married’ and have been living together for eight months, local media claim.

But their happiness came to an end when the police were tipped of and detained them at their rented home.

Lucky, is described as being very masculine looking with short hair, a tall figure and dressed in male clothing, and introduced herself as the ‘husband’ of Mishti according to the Bangladeshi media.

When police sent them for ‘sex identification tests’, doctors confirmed they both were female.

A case was filed against them under Section 290 for unsocial activities.

Section 290 relates to ‘offences affecting the public health, safety, convenience, decency and morals’ and states: ‘Whoever commits a public nuisance in any case not otherwise punishable by this code, shall be punished with fine which may extend to two hundred taka [$2.59 €1.91].’

They have been imprisoned, though it is not clear if this is a punishment or if they are on remand awaiting trial.

In June another Bangladeshi lesbian couple was threatened with life imprisonment for ‘marrying’ in secret.

Shibronty Roy Puja, a 16-year-old Hindu, and Sanjida Akter, 21-year-old Muslim, were arrested in Dhaka on 23 July.

Homosexuality is outlawed in Bangladesh and recently rejected the recommendations from the UN, after a session of the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review, to abolish this colonial era law.

Boys of Bangladesh, one of the country’s oldest gay rights organizations, and the International Lesbian and Gay Association have demanded the scrapping of the law criminalizing gay sex, Section 377, stating ‘it can help bring social change’.

In the penal code, it states any person who has sex ‘against the order of nature’ should be jailed for life, or put to hard labor for 10 years and fined.

by Omar Kuddus, Tris Reid-Smith
Source – Gay Star News