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Africa: Challenging laws criminalising persons living with HIV

By 1 March 2021September 21st, 2023Equality Rights, Equality Rights Health, Equality Rights News, SADC2 min read

Kenya: SALC is supporting an amicus submission by the HIV Justice Worldwide (HIVJWW)in a petition by 6 persons living with HIV and KELIN challenging section 26 of the Sexual Offences Act No.6 of 2006 of Kenya in the case of EM and 6 Others v the Attorney General and Others. The petitioners argue that the law, which criminalises HIV exposure and transmission, is vague and overbroad and violates the rule of law and the principle of legality. The petitioners also argue that the law violates the constitutional rights of persons living with HIV to equality and freedom from discrimination, health, freedom of religion, a fair trial and family rights.

HIVJWW was admitted as amicus curiae on 27 January 2020 and filed submissions in February 2020. The matter shall be decided on the papers filed, and judgement is pending.

HIVJWW is represented by Advocate Nelson Osiemo

Lesotho: SALC, in partnership with HIVJWW, is supporting a challenge to the constitutionality of sections 30 and 32(a)(vii) of the Sexual Offences Act No.29 of 2003 of Lesotho, which provide for mandatory HIV testing of an accused person upon being charged with the offence and imposes a mandatory death sentence upon conviction pursuant to an HIV positive test.

Hearing scheduled for 22 February 2021 was postponed to 22 March 2021.

Advocate Mokhathali is appearing in the case.

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