Imtiaz Morshed: The situation of the LGBT group in Bangladesh is of vital concern. Bangladesh still criminalizes same-sex relations under area 377 of the Penal Code, a specific provision that the Government declines to rescind. The Government’s negative stance on LGBT rights, combined with Bangladeshi societies cultural and religious beliefs contribute to the strictly binary conceptualisation of sexual orientation and gender identity. The LGBT community is as of now seriously disappointed, confronting segregation, savagery, and social prohibition.
Gender and sexuality are essential facets within the global human rights discourse, as individuals experience diverse genders and sexualities. In other words, “all citizenship is sexual citizenship, in that the foundational tenets of being citizen are all inflected by sexualities.”
One’s sexual orientation and gender identity can vary in expression due to different cultural and historical aspects. Gender identity particularly cannot be reduced to any fundamental biological dichotomy. Be that as it may, the relationship between human rights and sexual introduction is characterized by the heteronormative impression of personalities, social traditions and religious convictions. The settled characteristic physical contrasts are utilized to eloquent rights. The double conceptualizing of sex and sexual orientation avoids the acknowledgment of individual contrasts and goals that make up the thought of pluralism in sex and sex rights.
Each person has a sexual introduction and a sex personality. Everybody’s fancied self-recognizable proof should be regarded. One ought not to finish up someone else’s sexual introduction and sex personality in view of their appearance. Be that as it may, people who are recognizing themselves with plural sex and sex qualities, which are not a portion of top-down inflexible classes built up by the larger part, are at danger of being victimized, focused on or manhandled.
The discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity under international human rights law is relatively new. Since 2002, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly has passed six resolutions that called on member states to protect the right to life of all persons and thoroughly investigate cases that are committed for discriminatory reasons, including a victim’s sexual orientation. However, the resolutions did not include reference to gender identity. The primary ever articulation on sexual introduction and sex personality at the General Assembly was made in December 2008, and marked by 66 of the UN part states. The Statement on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity censured the human right infringement confronted by sexual and sex minorities and encouraged states to address these infringement, while reaffirming the widespread utilization of non-prejudicial standards to all individuals, paying little mind to sexual introduction and sex character.
LGBT community in Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s gender and sexual minorities (LGBT) often feel insecure about their gender identity and sexual orientation for a number of reasons, including the persistent stigmatisation due to religion and cultural norms, a societal and institutional denial about the existence and validity of such diversity and the criminalisation of same-sex relations. The current traditional conservatism in Bangladesh does not permit articulation of sexual and sex majority in the nation. The socio-social and religious taboos in Bangladesh make LGBT bunches powerless against separation and brutality. The use of fundamentalist qualities and social and social practices have made a domain whereby the LGBT group is smothered and kept from living unreservedly. There is likewise an absence of certainty among the LGBT group individuals originating from societal weight, as they are compelled to live with a non-existent sexual introduction and sex character.
Visibility in relation to the LGBT community refers to an individual’s recognised presence in public areas due to external manifestation of gender. By and large, the perceive ability of a man in the public arena relies on upon sex expression31 not sex character or sexual introduction. In Bangladesh, this perceive ability contrasts from one’s capacity to publically express their sexual introduction and sex personality, which takes strength for LGBT people since they feel huge weight from their families and society to stay covered up.LGB individuals do not publicly express their sexual orientation, even to their close circles such as family and friends, and thus continue to be an invisible minority
Homosexuality is viewed as an issue that does not fit into the social, religious and social fabric of Bangladesh society. This position has made an antagonistic and prohibitive environment for the LGBT group to practice their rights to sexual flexibility and sex character. The Government of Bangladesh does not participate in useful open political civil arguments in connection to the LGBT group. A common trend is to see LGBT rights issues appearing on the Government’s agenda only when Bangladesh is engaging with the UN (for instance the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Outside of UN attention on Bangladesh, the Government does not proactively discuss issues relating to the LGBT community, including LGBT rights. At the UN level, Bangladesh has made its negative stance on recognising LGBT rights clear since 2008: Bangladesh was one of the countries that did not support the Statement on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, and instead signed the counter-statement. In June 2011, Bangladesh voted against the primary UN determination on sexual introduction and sex personality.
The current Penal Code of Bangladesh has its causes in the codification of criminal law in British India. The establishments of criminal law in British India were laid by the Indian Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860) and Criminal Procedure Code (Act V of 1898). After the allotment of India and Pakistan in 1947, the Pakistan Government received the Indian Penal Code and just changed the title to Pakistan Penal Code. After Bangladesh declared independence from Pakistan in 1971, the Pakistan Penal Code was adopted by Bangladesh and became part of Bangladeshi law. Section 377 of the Penal Code states: Unnatural Offenses – Whoever wilfully has animalistic intercourse against the request of nature with any man, lady or creature, should be rebuffed with detainment forever, or with detainment of either depiction for a term which might reach out to ten years, and should likewise be at risk to fine. Clarification – Penetration is adequate to constitute the fleshly intercourse important to the offense depicted in this area. Section 377 is an obsolete procurement that was foreign made from British Colonial guideline. The equivocalness of the wording is such that it could incorporate different sexual acts, including hetero sexual acts. To date, there has been no judicial interpretation of the provision. However, the Government’s stance on the matter is clear: section 377 cannot be repealed since same-sex activity is not an acceptable norm and this section is in harmony with social and cultural values of the country. The minor presence of section 377 is a rupture of LGBT rights. Section 377 has been utilized as a device to annoy, undermine and blackmail LGBT individuals who are unmistakable in broad daylight spaces, for example, Hijras and Kothis. It has likewise blocked the LGBT group’s entrance to equity and capacity to look for assurance from law requirement, because of the dangers of arraignment under section377.
Harassment by law enforcement
Section 377 of the Penal Code is used in conjunction with sections 54 and 55 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP), which allow law enforcement agencies to arrest without a warrant, to harass the LGBT community. Sections 54 and 55 of CCP are enforced as a so-called “preventative measure”: any police officer in charge can arrest individuals whom he/she has a probable cause or reasonable suspicion that the individual will commit a “cognisable offence”. The High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh has issued itemized rules on the requirement of area 54 of CCP.60 These rules were issued to constrain the misuse of segment 54 and give regulation on capture without cause, detainment and treatment of suspects by law authorization offices. While the utilization of area 54 for subjective captures may have diminished, comparable lawful procurements still exist under different Metropolitan Police Ordinances. For example, section 86 of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Ordinance, relating to the penalty for being found under suspicious circumstances between sunset and sunrise,63 is also used to harass and intimidate LGBT people using public spaces. LGBT individuals who have access to public cruising areas are physically assaulted and forcefully removed from public spaces by law enforcement agencies.
The issues faced by the LGBT community in Bangladesh are systemic and sanctioned. The social and social resistance against the acknowledgment of various sexual introductions and sex characters prompts an air of apprehension, avoidance and shame for the LGBT group. The disappointment of the LGBT group in Bangladesh is based upon social prohibition and the dismissal of LGBT individuals, the lawful boundary contained in area 377 (criminalizing same-sex relations) and the determined refusal to revoke the procurement. The negligible presence of the procurement is a danger to the LGBT group. It is additionally an outright sign to the LGBT group that they are not considered as equivalent residents of Bangladesh. The stigma and discrimination faced by the LGBT community results in isolation and a lack of support from family and social structures as well as institutionalised discrimination in access to justice and public spaces.