Nigeria Criminalizes Basic Human Rights

Nigeria Criminalizes Basic Human Rights
Nigeria Criminalizes Basic Human Rights

Nigeria criminalizes basic human rights by signing a new law, ‘The Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act.’ In Lagos, Nigeria the police have gone after gay men, then used torture as a means to get them to talk and reveal names of others who are gay. The reason is because of a brand new law in Nigeria.

The crime of belonging to a gay organization and punishment delivered from said behavior could be up to ten years. The law is the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which is getting condemned by the international community. Dorothy Aken’Ova, an executive director for Reproductive Health and Sexual Right says this law will make criminals of homosexuals and further endanger any progress in the HIV-AIDS health arena.

So if you are in Nigeria and are gay, or are married to the same sex, belong to a group promoting or work with the community, you may go to jail for possibly up to ten years. This can’t be happening, making the act of friendship or love a crime, really?

The UN and other agencies have expressed deep concern over this new law, as has John Kerry by saying, ‘It dangerously restricts freedom.”

The bill has been wickedly slated “Jail the Gays.” President Goodluck Jonathan, the Nigerian Leader has confirmed his office is doing this, it is true. Dorothy Aken’Ova and her organization who counsel and support educating men about AIDS, said a police officer came to the group meeting and lied about being gay to be in the group. Later, police then took four men and tortured them until the police gathered 168 names. This medieval witch hunt or behavior from the police began over Christmas.

The chairman, Mustapha Baba Ilela of the Bauchi State Commision which follows Islamic law said, “We are on the hunt for others.” Did Nigeria criminalize basic human rights with passing this new law?

Nigeria has 36 states and the Islamic law of Shariah has differences in nine of those. The chairman denies torture, beatings or intimidation. Law enforcement in Nigeria are known to torture inmates to get confessions, obtain money for release from jail and use their cell phones to lure other suspects. Fear is the tactic they use once they have knowledge of a persons sexual preference. The victims are bribed and pay money, naira, usually about $30-60, even though they are innocent.

Nigerians new law may seem harsh, but Ugandas President, Yoweri Musevenis, has a bill before him waiting for him to pen his name to it. Penalties on that bill for “aggravated” homosexual sex is life imprisonment after initially they wanted the death penalty. Sodomy has been outlawed under Shariah, it carries the death sentence in the state of Bauchi. The judge at trial decides if you should die by lethal injection or stoned by the public.

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with 3.4 million people living with HIV, 2nd in the world. This law which was signed in early January, but only revealed Monday, restricts citizens from meeting together in public if they are gay or lesbian. The law violates human rights protections.

It is noted that South Africa permits same-sex marriage where it is legal. However, President Goodluck Jonathan, believes his law reflects the culture and religious views of the Nigerian people, not criminalization of basic human rights.

By Kim Troike






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