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Homosexuality in Syria is still considered illegal. However, instances of persecution are limited to nonexistent.
Criminal Law Edit
Article 520 of the penal code of 1949, prohibits having homosexual relations, i.e. "carnal knowledge against the order of nature", and provides for a possible three-years imprisonment. However, the law is de-facto suspended.
Gay Community Edit
The Syrian authorities, namely the Secret Service, can use individuals' sexual orientation to blackmail, harass and eventually use members of the LGBT community. Law enforcement officers have zero tolerance to the LGBT community.
In 2003 Syria, in the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, voted to postpone a U.N. draft resolution on human rights and sexual orientation. The vote was 24-17. The draft resolution would have the Commission express deep concern at the occurrence of violations of human rights in the world against persons on the grounds of their sexual orientation; stress that human rights and fundamental freedoms were the birthright of all human beings, and that the universal nature of these rights and freedoms was beyond question; and call upon all States to promote and protect the human rights of all persons regardless of their sexual orientation.
The AIDS-HIV pandemic remains a taboo topic of discussion in Syria, as in much of the Middle East. The first reported cases of infection were in 1987, and the government has done little to prevent its spreading. The government opened a testing center during the 1990s, but did not report statistics on HIV infection until 2006, when it reported that 377 out of 4 million people who had taken blood tests tested positive for HIV. Non-governmental organizations, however, estimate that there are truly at least five times that many.
In 2006, the UN chastised Syria and Egypt for their ineffective prevention methods.