Myanmar is one of more than 40 countries around the world where gay sex is criminalised by laws imposed during British colonial rule. [Violaine Beix/Al Jazeera]

Yangon, Myanmar – Khin Maung Htun, a gay man in Myanmar, was standing on the street one night last year scrolling through his phone when police showed up to arrest some men who had been fighting nearby.  

The brawl had nothing to do with him; he hadn’t even realised it was going on. But one of the police officers happened to know some acquaintances of his and recognised his face. 

“He is gay,” the officer told his colleagues as he pointed at Khin Maung Htun, “so arrest him too.” 

At the police station he was made to kneel

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