Mauritius: kidnapped to "cure" their homosexuality

Published: August 24, 2010

Some families arrange the kidnapping of their own child to put an end to homosexual love. A practice that the Collectif Arc-en-Ciel fights on the spot as best it can.

On June 6, Shalima’s life was radically changed. The 20-year-old Mauritian was violently abducted right before her friend’s eyes and confined for over a week in her parents’ house. "My loved ones never accepted my sexual orientation, and by abducting me, they quite simply wanted to take me away from the woman I love," said Shalima to local newspaper KotZot News.

In the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, sodomy is prohibited and society is intolerant of gay and lesbian relationships. "We’ve already had a case where a young girl was abducted on the beach by her parents and confined in the same way [as Shalima], or where a young girl was locked up in a psychiatric hospital and physically threatened by her family. But for every one who has the courage to testify, how many cases are kept quiet?” asks Nathalie Ahnee, President of the Collectif Arc-en-Ciel (“rainbow collective”) local association.

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