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Tortured by anti-gay mobs in Nigeria

Nigeria's homophobic new laws can make life dangerous for its LGBT community

Since President Goodluck Jonathan signed new legislation in Nigeria, referred to as ‘Jail the Gays Law’, men perceived to be gay have been under attack. They've been stripped of basic human rights, arrested and even tortured by mobs.

10 suspected gay men were beaten by 40 people, in the town of Geshiri near Abuja over a week ago, according to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC).

A second incident occurred in the capital, where a mob, armed with wooden clubs and irons bars forced themselves into the homes of 14 young men, and dragged them from their beds into the streets. The homophobes wrote on their walls, ‘Homosexuals, pack and leave.' The police were called to assist, but only the victims were persecuted.

Four of them were marched down to the local police station and allegedly punched and kicked.

“It is important that people understand that this kind of violence can happen to anyone and that the government seems to have abdicated its responsibility to protect people from violence and impunity,” said Jessica Stern, Executive Director of IGLHRC

Nigeria is just one of 80 countries across the world where they penalise men for being gay. Their new law bans gay groups, same-sex public affection and same-sex marriage. Gays or even those believed to be gay could face 14 years in prison or physical punishment such as lashing and stoning.

Activists calls on the Nigerian government to conduct a full and fair independent investigation into all reports of the attacks, to protect everyone from the public witch-hunt that continues to justify violence in a country that shows severe hostility towards their LGBT community.

Words: Zazz Walker (@ZazzWalker)

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