World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Nigeria: Halt homophobic witch-hunt under oppressive new law

15 January 2014

Nigeria must immediately release the more than 10 people already arrested under a deeply oppressive new law that runs roughshod over a range of human rights and discriminates based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, Amnesty International said.

The arrests have been made in several Nigerian states such as Anambra, Enugu, Imo and Oyo states since Monday, when it was revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan had signed the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act into law.

“Those arrested under this draconian new legislation must be released immediately and the charges against them dropped. Locking someone up for their sexual orientation violates the most basic human rights standards,” said Makmid Kamara, Amnesty International’s Nigeria Researcher.

“Reports that the police in one state are apparently drawing up lists of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community to target are extremely worrying.”

“The deeply repressive Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act must be withdrawn without delay. With the stroke of a pen, President Goodluck Jonathan has essentially turned Nigeria into one of the world’s least tolerant societies.”

This law is a throwback to the worst of the military rule-era when a range of human rights were treated with contempt. In a society where corruption is rampant, this law could also be used for harassment, extortion and blackmail of people by law enforcement officers and other members of the public.

Those targeted under the new law included five allegedly gay men who were arrested yesterday in Ibadan, Oyo state – they have since been released on bail. In the south-eastern city of Awka, Anambra state, six persons were reportedly arrested and detained by the police. Human rights defenders told Amnesty International that the arrests and intimidation of LGBTI people in Nigeria is expanding across the country.

Human rights defenders also told Amnesty International that police in northern Bauchi state have drawn up a list of 167 people targeted for arrest based on their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

An Assistant Commissioner of Police in Bauchi, confirmed to Amnesty International that the police have a list of suspected LGBTI people in Bauchi as part of their “profiling of criminals”. He said: “The police have a list of suspected gay people under surveillance. We use the list to conduct our surveillance but the names on the list are not up to 167. We also use it to find out who their victims are.”

Amnesty International is calling on the authorities to stop all further arrests and put an immediate end to this witch-hunt.

The law criminalizes freedom of speech, association, and assembly and it criminalizes the activities of many human rights and civil society organizations. It provides for a ten year prison sentence for anyone who supports, meets with, or forms a group advocating for human rights for LGBTI people.

AI Index: PRE01/014/2014

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Health Agency Responds To Ebola Spike

UN health agency responds to Ebola spike by deploying team on border of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau More>>

UN Casts Israel As World's Worst Violator Of Health Rights

Israel's army team of medics recently treated 1,600 victims of the Nepal earthquake. More>>

W Thousands Flee Syria’s Besieged Historic City Of Palmyra

As thousands flee Syria’s besieged historic city of Palmyra, UN refugee agency readies response plan More>>

UN Agency To Halt Housing Allowance For Palestine Refugees

Lack of funds forces UNRWA to suspend cash assistance for housing for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Photo: UNRWA/Shafiq Fahed More>>


Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news