Main | Thursday, March 06, 2014

NIGERIA: Four Men Lashed In Court After Sharia Conviction Of Homosexuality

The Associated Press reports that four men were lashed in a Nigeria courtroom today after a Sharia tribunal convicted them of homosexual acts.
The four were among dozens caught in a wave of arrests after Nigeria strengthened its criminal penalties for homosexuality with the new Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act in January. The men could face further violence in prison if human rights organizations do not come up with an additional fine of 20,000 naira ($120) each meted out Thursday by a judge in Bauchi city, Dorothy Aken’Ova, convenor of the Coalition for the Defense of Sexual Rights Network, told The Associated Press. The four were sentenced to 15 strokes plus a year’s imprisonment if they cannot pay their fines. Aken’Ova said the men, aged between 20 and 22, should not have been convicted because their confessions were forced by law agents who beat them. She said they had to lie on the floor of the court to be whipped on their backsides.
The Sharia court system runs parallel to civil courts in northern Nigeria, where Islamic law decrees that gays can be sentenced to death by public stoning. Such executions have not yet been reported.

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