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Amnesty releases graphic novel highlighting Sri Lanka’s discrimination against LGBTI community

Amnesty International released a graphic novel highlighting the discrimination faced by LGBTI people in Sri Lanka. 

The novel, ‘Spectrum: Four Stories of Discrimination Faced by LGBTI People’, follows four characters to illustrate the ‘discrimination and violence in their daily lives, from workplace bullying to police harassment.’ 

Based on true events, the stories depict the ‘alarming ways the police in Sri Lanka handle cases involving LGBTI people.’

Sri Lanka continues to use colonial laws such as the Penal Code and the Vagrant Code to target LGBTI people. 

‘Section 399 of the Penal Code bans “cheating by impersonation” which means pretending to be someone else or telling a person they are someone that they are not. This law has been used against transgender people, to allege that they are “pretending” to be of a different gender,’ the press release stated.

Rehab Mahamoor, Research Assistant at Amnesty International, said:

“Individuals must not be discriminated on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, but Sri Lanka has made little to no progress towards setting aside the laws that do.” 

“The laws that prevent that from happening must be repealed, and protections that help uphold the rights of LGBTI people should be put in place without delay,” Mahamoor added. 

Read the full press release here.