FACTBOX – Sodomy laws in Malaysia and elsewhere

(Reuters) – Police investigating a sodomy allegation against Malaysian opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim warned on Thursday they could compel him to give a DNA sample, threatening to further stoke tensions in the highly charged case.

De facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was sacked as deputy prime minister in 1998 and later jailed for corruption and sodomy. The supreme court overturned the sodomy conviction six years later.

He has said the charges are a political ploy aimed at destroying Malaysia’s resurgent opposition.

Here are some facts on sodomy laws in Malaysia and elsewhere.

* Malaysia is one of half a dozen former British colonies to retain colonial-era “anti-sodomy” laws. Section 377 of the Penal Code criminalises gay sex.

* The mainly Muslim nation’s sodomy laws were introduced in the late 1870s by British administrators, about 20 years after the first such law was drafted by Lord Thomas Macaulay for the Indian Penal Code. [more]

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