Is the World Waking Up to Unthinkable Gay Persecution
By Melanie Nathan, January 14, 2014.
Yesterday the news leaked that the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, had signed into law the new anti-gay law, which we have dubbed “Jail All the Gays”. But Gays have been suffering for a long time in Nigeria, with very little publicity.
There has been so much going on with Russia, Uganda, India and more countries with regard to anti-gay fervor and law. And the mainstream media has been slow to trot when reporting the stories, missing much of what bloggers have been reporting on for years. The mainstream media has reported on anti-gay Russia because of the Olympic controversy – otherwise who knows whether they would have bothered.
Now finally today we heard from CNN and AP on the Nigerian passage of new anti-gay laws and we have heard from them because of the shocking fact that well over a hundred gays have been arrested just for being gay.
Yet many of these arrests took place over a month ago. We are only hearing about it now in mainstream press. It is up to the LGBT organizations in the West to help LGBT Nigerians and for us to speak up and ensure we help on a protest level and also assist those seeking urgent asylum. Little has been done in this arena. (www.pcijustice.com.)
This is the latest AP report:
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Police, working off a list of 168 suspects purportedly obtained through torture, are arresting dozens of gay men in Nigeria’s northern Bauchi state, human rights activists said Tuesday.
A new law in Nigeria, dubbed the “Jail the Gays” bill, is encouraging the persecution of gays and will endanger programs fighting HIV-AIDS in the gay community, said Dorothy Aken’Ova, executive director of Nigeria’s International Center for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights.
On Monday, President Goodluck Jonathan’s office confirmed that the Nigerian leader signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act that criminalizes gay marriage, gay organizations and anyone working with or promoting them.
In Bauchi state, police entrapped four gay men and tortured them into naming others, Aken’Ova said. She said the police have drawn up a list of 168 wanted gay men, of whom 38 have been arrested in recent weeks.
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.”
The chairman of Bauchi state Shariah Commission, Mustapha Baba Ilela, told the AP that 11 men have been arrested in the past two weeks and charged with belonging to a gay organization. He denied anyone had been tortured and said all 11 — 10 Muslims and a non-Muslim — signed confessions that they belonged to a gay organization but that some of them retracted the statements when they were charged by a judge.
Shariah is Islamic law, which is implemented to different degrees in nine of 36 states.
An AIDS counselor told The Associated Press he helped get bail for the men and also said a total of 38 were arrested. He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear he would be arrested. Aken’Ova’s organization is providing legal services for them.
The United States, Britain and Canada condemned the new law in Africa’s most populous nation, with Secretary of State John Kerry saying Monday that it “dangerously restricts freedom” of expression and association of all Nigerians.
Jonathan’s spokesman said the president signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act on Jan. 7, providing penalties of up to 14 years in jail for a gay marriage and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for membership or encouragement of gay club, societies and organizations.READ MORE
10 Urgent Actions You Can Take Against Anti-Gay Nigeria
By Melanie Nathan, January 13, 2014.
Today we heard in breaking news that Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has surreptitiously signed the so-called Same Sex Prohibition Bill into law. Reports are that Jonathan actually signed the Bill, better known as the “Jail-All-The-Gays” Bill, quietly last week. News of it’s signing has only now been leaked.
The LGBT community around the World will not tolerate laws that criminalize sexuality and will vehemently protest countries which institute such laws, which serve as government sanctioned mechanisms for persecution. READ MORE