News
1 min

Nigeria: Men whipped in court after being convicted for gay sex

Activist says the four could face further violence in jail if they can’t pay fines

Four men who were convicted of breaking Nigeria’s recently enacted anti-gay law received a public whipping in a northern Nigerian court. Credit: infoplease.com

Four men who were found guilty of breaking Nigeria’s recently enacted anti-gay law were subjected to a public whipping in an Islamic court in the northern part of the country, The Guardian reports

An activist with the Coalition for the Defense of Sexual Rights Network says the men, all in their early 20s, also face the prospect of prison time, where they could be subjected to further violence if they can’t pay fines of 20,000 nairas each (approximately $130 Canadian) handed down by the court in the city of Bauchi.

Dorothy Aken’Ova says the men were allegedly forced to confess that they broke the law by authorities who reportedly beat them, and therefore they should not have been convicted.

Not long after President Goodluck Jonathan signed off on an anti-gay law that further criminalizes homosexuality in Nigeria came reports that dozens of people were being arrested in states in both the north and south.

In January, the arraignment of seven of 11 men arrested for belonging to gay organizations was interrupted by protesters who threw stones in a northern Nigerian court and called for the men to be put to death. An Associated Press report said thousands of people were involved in the disruption of the sharia court proceeding in the city of Bauchi, with security officers eventually firing shots in the air to force the crowd to disperse. 

Another man in the northern state of Bauchi received 20 lashes after an Islamic court found him guilty of breaking laws against homosexuality, acts he reportedly committed seven years ago, a BBC report said.