Four Mauritian Activists Seek to challenge the country’s anti-gay law.
On the 6th September 2019, four young Mauritians, who come from all parts of Mauritian society, have approached the Supreme Court of Mauritius for leave to seek constitutional redress by the declaration that Section 250 of the Mauritian Criminal Code Act of 1838 (as amended) violates their fundamental rights and freedom and is unconstitutional.
The leave application was called yesterday before the Honorable Chief Justice, E. Balancy, and the Applicants were ordered to serve copies of the leave application on the State of Mauritius, the Honorable Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions, for them to inform the Supreme Court of their views on the leave application on 30th September 2019.
As stated by lead Plaintiff, Najeeb Ahmad Fokeerbux (AQYI Chairperson and member),
“LGBT+ people in Mauritius are your friends, family, and neighbors and deserve the same rights to have loving, caring relationships as everyone else. It’s time to get rid of this colonial-era law, and we ask all Mauritians to support our effort.”
The Plaintiffs are contending in their plaint for constitutional redress that Section 250 does not have its place in modern and democratic Mauritius in that:
- LGBT+ people, like all other citizens, should have the fundamental rights to choice of sexual partner, privacy, dignity, protection of the law and equality.
- Section 250 is contrary to the values of democracy and treats LGBT+ people as second-class citizens.
- Mauritians believe in an equal society free from discrimination, and the continued existence of Section 250 brings about discrimination, inequality, stigma, and persecution of LGBT+ people.
The Plaintiffs, who come from Hindu, Christian and Muslim backgrounds, are all members of the Young Queer Alliance, a youth-led NGO advocating for the respect of equal human rights for LGBT+ people in Mauritius.
The Plaintiffs are legally represented before the Supreme Court on a pro-bono basis by Dentons (Mauritius) LLP, the local office of the world’s largest law firm, delivering quality and value to clients around the globe, and by the Franco-Mauritian Law Chambers LCMB et Associés, based in Paris and Mauritius. Plaintiffs are also supported by the Young Queer Alliance and the Love Honor Cherish Foundation.