Victims of anti-gay mob “justice” in Nigeria
Five Nigerian men were reportedly stripped naked and paraded by an angry mob through the streets of the town of Ekurede Urhobo for being gay.
According to local reports, the group was identified and targeted after a dispute over money following a sexual liaison and subsequent attempted blackmail.
The details are unclear, but the matter came to the attention of the local community chairman and chief who sent a mob after the group.
The five men were taken to the community town hall where they were stripped naked and whipped as a large crowd watched.
They were also threatened with being turned over to the police if they refused to pay a “fine” and to being further humiliated by being paraded through the streets.
It is unclear if they were able to pay, but if the men were arrested by the police and are found guilty of having gay sex they face 14 years in prison.
The incident confirms concerns by human rights activists that the recent enactment of the country’s Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill will lead to more cases of LGBTI people being blackmailed over their sexuality.
The new sweeping legislation will imprison same-sex couples who attempt to marry for 14 years and will also jail anyone who witnesses, solemnises or aids a same-sex marriage for 10 years.
It will further imprison anyone in any kind of consensual adult same-sex relationship for 14 years and any public display of same-sex affection will lead to a prison term of 10 years.
The bill will also jail anyone who supports or operates gay clubs, societies and organisations or holds gay processions or meetings for 10 years.
Same-sex sex was already illegal in Nigeria with 14 years imprisonment. Twelve northern states in Nigeria also operate under Islamic Sharia law that allows homosexuality to be punished with death by stoning.