Dozens Arrrested in Northern Nigeria As Anti-Gay Law Comes Into Force

gayDozens of gay men are reported to have been arrested across northern Nigeria as police begin to enforce punitive new laws that criminalize same-sex marriages and membership of gay rights organisations.

The legislation, condemned by the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and human rights groups in Europe, has come into force shortly after the Ugandan parliament passed an Anti-Homosexuality Act.

Last week Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which provides penalties of up to 14 years in jail for a gay marriage and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for membership or encouragement of gay clubs, societies and organisations.

His spokesman, Reuben Abati, said: “This is a law that is in line with the people’s cultural and religious inclination. So it is a law that is a reflection of the beliefs and orientation of Nigerian people … Nigerians are pleased with it.”

Dorothy Aken’Ova, executive director of the country’s International Centre for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights, said that the legislation, hailed the “Jail the Gays” law, had led to mass arrests. Police in Bauchi state, she claimed, had a list of 168 purportedly gay men, of whom 38 had been arrested.

The laws, she cautioned, will endanger medical programmes combating HIV-Aids in the gay community. Nigeria has the second-largest HIV epidemic globally with an estimated 3.4 million people living with HIV.

Responding to the spread of anti-gay legislation,Kerry said: “The United States is deeply concerned by Nigeria’s enactment of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act. Beyond even prohibiting same-sex marriage, this law dangerously restricts freedom of assembly, association and expression for all Nigerians.

“[The law] is inconsistent with Nigeria’s international legal obligations and undermines the democratic reforms and human rights protections enshrined in its 1999 constitution,” he added.

“People everywhere deserve to live in freedom and equality. No one should face violence or discrimination for who they are or who they love.”

The London-based Human Dignity Trust, which supports legal actions around the world aimed at overturning anti-gay legislation, criticised both the Nigerian and Ugandan acts.

Jonathan Cooper, the trust’s chief executive, has described the Ugandan legislation as “a bleak day for human rights. The bill undermines Uganda’s human rights protection, breaches its international treaty obligations and violates Uganda’s own constitution”.

One of the men whose legal challenges the trust supported, Roger Jean-Claude Mbede, 34, died this week after being removed from hospital by his family. He had been jailed in Cameroon for sending a text message to another man saying: “I’m very much in love with you”.

8 Comments

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  • Well,well why are you complaining If you want to be britain and us also you want to think like them why did that stupid fani kayode did not help nigerian by transforming the airport to good one.
    Why can’t the us Help us in getting those thieves who stole and keep them in swiss account e.g okotie eboh(32 million pounds), obasanjo ( billions of nigeria in a plane to uganda) what are the western doing even the idiots fani kayode. Ride on GEJ God is with you

  • Why can’t Western world let us be? Must they be our head always? This is the first time we are against their wish and anyone who wants to be gay should be given free US visa if they so love human right.
    We support anti-gay law, let US secretary of state face juvenile gun shooting in his country!

  • Its crystal clear that the almighty US and Europe put things on paper apology to them without practicing or reflecting such,what is ‘Culture’ gay ism isn’t our culture and suppose not to be forced on us.Gay is satanic its vulgar and anti-cultural on the shores of Africa.my able president do not be moved by what their threat we are praying for you

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  • let the western world continue to cry we wont accept same sex marriage. It is perversion. Have we ever forced polygamy on them? African women are too beautiful and available for our men to marry. USA and Eu listen we are not nonentity we have morals, values and rich cultural heritage that we must preserve.

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