38 gay men arrested in Nigeria, 130 more to go

Human rights activists claim police have a list of 168 gay men in northern Nigeria and will arrest every last one

Dozens of gay men are being arrested in northern Nigeria, human rights activists have said.

The police have allegedly drawn up a list of 168 wanted gay men. 38 have been arrested in recent weeks.

They say persecution will increase since the law was signed by President Goodluck Jonathan signed the ‘Jail All The Gays’ bill.

The legislation bans same-sex marriage, criminalizes gay clubs and associations, and sets up prison terms of up to 14 years.

Openly gay people risk being imprisoned whether or not they have sex.

Anybody who knows somebody who is gay will have to tell the authorities or go to jail for five years.

Out of the 38, 11 men have been arrested in the last two weeks and charged with belonging to a gay organization.

Police have said all of them have signed confessions they belong to the group but some retracted their statements when they were charged by a judge.

Dorothy Aken’Ova is executive director of Nigeria’s International Center for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights.

She told the AP the new law will endanger and even criminalize programs fighting HIV-AIDS in the gay community.

In Bauchi state, police entrapped four gay men and tortured them into naming others, Aken’Ova said.

She said the arrests began during the Christmas holidays and blamed ‘all the noise that was going on surrounding the (Same Sex Marriage Prohibition) bill.’

Jonathan’s spokesman Reuben Abati confirmed the president signed the bill into law yesterday (13 January).

He said: ‘More than 90% of Nigerians are opposed to same-sex marriage. So, the law is in line with our cultural and religious beliefs as a people.’

by Joe Morgan
Source – Gay Star News