Special Travel Circumstances in Central African Republic

Photography: Taking photographs of police or military installations, airports, or any other government buildings, is prohibited. Unauthorized photography may result in the seizure of photographic equipment by the CAR authorities. Police or other government authorities can provide information and grant permission for photographing a particular subject or location.

Corruption: Corruption remains a serious problem among the CAR security forces, some members of which have harassed travelers for bribes. At night, the roads in the capital are often manned with impromptu checkpoints, at which police or soldiers ask motorists and travelers for money.

Banking: Banking infrastructure remains limited in the CAR, and facilities for monetary exchange exist only in the capital. Banking services were further limited following looting in Bangui in March and April 2013. There are no ATMs in the CAR. Exchange bureaus and banks normally accept dollars and euros, but not West African Francs (CFA). Credit cards are not used in the CAR, and purchases of goods and services are made in cash, including hotel rooms and airline tickets.

Same Gender Sexual Relations: Same gender sexual relations are illegal in CAR and the penal code criminalizes consensual same-gender sexual activity. The penalty for "public expression of love" between persons of the same gender is imprisonment for six months to two years or a fine of between 150,000 and 600,000 CFA francs ($295 and $1,185). When one of the participants is under age, the adult may be sentenced to two to five years' imprisonment or a fine of 100,000 to 800,000 CFA francs ($200 and $1,600); however, there have been no recent reports [in 2011] that police arrested or detained persons under these provisions.

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