nigeria_vigilante_group_arrests_25_gay_menThere are reports that Islamic vigilantes have arrested 25 men in the north-western Nigerian state of Kebbi.

According to local media, the Kebbi arm of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria claimed in a press briefing last week to have arrested the men over the past year.

The commander of the group, Sanusi Ibrahim Geza, said that seven had been arrested recently.

The men were handed over to the Hisbah Commission, which is responsible for enforcing Islamic law, effectively policing people’s behaviour and “morality”.

“Some of them were flogged while others were taken to court to face other punitive measures,” Geza said.

The group also claimed to have arrested 200 people for theft, 150 for drug abuse and 20 for human trafficking.

Kebbi is one of twelve northern states in Nigeria that operate under Islamic Sharia law which allows homosexuality to be punished with death by stoning.

Anti-gay sentiment has swelled in the country after the federal Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act earlier this year further outlawed same-sex relationships and anyone who supports or operates gay clubs, societies and organisations.

Gay sex was already illegal in Nigeria under federal law, with penalties including 14 years imprisonment.

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