The Atrocities Against LGBTQIA+ in Mauritania: A Hidden Struggle

Mauritania, a nation in West Africa, is characterized by its vast deserts, rich history, and deep-rooted cultural traditions. However, beneath the surface, the country grapples with severe human rights issues, particularly concerning the LGBTQIA+ community. This article sheds light on the dire situation faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals in Mauritania and underscores the urgent need for international awareness and action.

Legal Landscape

In Mauritania, both male and female same-sex sexual activity is strictly prohibited. The country’s legal system is heavily influenced by Islamic Sharia law, which has significant implications for the rights and safety of its LGBTQIA+ community. Specifically, Muslim men who engage in homosexual acts can face the extreme penalty of death by stoning. However, there have been no known cases of executions due to homosexuality charges in the country. On the other hand, women who engage in same-sex relations can face prison sentences ranging from three months to two years and a fine.

Living Conditions for the LGBTQIA+ Community

The societal norms and legal repercussions in Mauritania force the LGBTQIA+ community to live in the shadows. The fear of persecution and societal ostracization has led many to hide their true identities. A 2011 report by the U.S. Department of State found no evidence of societal violence, discrimination, or systematic government discrimination based on sexual orientation during that year. However, the absence of evidence does not necessarily indicate the absence of discrimination or violence.

The Silent Advocacy

While there are no known organizations in Mauritania advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights, there are no legal barriers preventing the operation of such groups. This suggests a potential avenue for advocacy and change, though the risks associated with such endeavors in the current climate cannot be understated.

International Response

The international community has a responsibility to raise awareness about the challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community in countries like Mauritania. While the country may not be in the global spotlight as often as others, the plight of its LGBTQIA+ citizens cannot be ignored. International pressure can play a pivotal role in bringing about change, as seen in other nations.


The situation in Mauritania serves as a somber reminder of the challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community in various parts of the world. While the legal framework is daunting, the resilience and strength of the LGBTQIA+ community shine through, even in the face of adversity. It is crucial for the global community to stand in solidarity with LGBTQIA+ individuals in Mauritania and advocate for their rights and safety.

Note: This post is based on available data as of 2023. The situation may evolve, and it’s essential to consult up-to-date sources for the latest information.

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