The island republic in Micronesia last month replaced a criminal code dating back to 1899 that banned homosexuality. The update also outlawed marital rape, slavery, forced child labor, the death penalty, solitary confinement and hard labor. Additionally, it prevents the imprisonment of people who attempt suicide.
However, RNZ reports that opposition MP Squire Jeremiah has said the reform was carried out without public consultation
“He says most Nauruans resent having the legislation forced on them.
“The government, which has few opponents within parliament after suspending the bulk of the opposition two years ago, has passed a slew of reforms in recent months.
“Mr Jeremiah says once again the Nauru people are being subjected to dictatorial-style government by President Baron Waqa [right] and the Justice Minister David Adeang.
“He says decriminalising homosexuality is not in keeping with the views of the wider Nauruan community and older people in particular.
“Mr Jeremiah says the law change should immediately be repealed and all MPs who supported it should apologise to the people for their incompetence and failure.”
Under Nauru’s previous law, a refugee was convicted and fined in April for attempted suicide. Island authorities said the change was designed to “stamp out the practice.”
A report published this week has detailed the systematic sexual and physical abuse of female refugees in Nauru.
Watch a World News Australia report on Nauru’s controversial refugee detention center below.
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