Persecution of Homosexuals (Nigeria)

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Note that this page may contain news regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transvestite, and transsexual people (LGBTT)

Gay man sentenced to death by stoning after it was alleged he had sex with an underage male. Human rights activists in Britain and elsewhere suggest the confession may have been coerced

A gay man in Nigeria has been sentenced to death by stoning after it was alleged he had sex with an underage male, the English-language Guardian newspaper reports.

The accused man, identified as Attahiru Umar, was turned in by his neighbors and later arrested. Authorities say Umar "confessed his crimes" to police, but human rights activists in Britain and elsewhere suggest the confession may have been coerced.

The stoning sentence follows the introduction of Islamic Sharia law in some states. Roman Catholic bishops in Nigeria recently warned the government that the introduction of Islamic law violates the human rights of non-Muslims and is a threat to peace in the country.

The BBC reports that at the end of a recent three-day session in Lagos, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria issued a statement saying it would use every legitimate means to prevent the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims.

Transvestite faces a possible one year in prison. Friend says even though he had not engaged in any indecent behavior he still deserved to be punished “because he had broken Islamic laws”

The issue of sexual orientation is a controversial one in Africa and the existence of transvestites usually gets little attention.

But 19-year-old Abubakar Hamza has become famous with posters of him dressed in women’s clothes selling well among male admirers.

He is charged with living and dressing as a woman in the first case of its kind in this conservative city.

But what is shocking for many Nigerians is that he lived as a young woman in the heart of a family for seven years, without his secret being suspected.
. . .
Alhaji Adamu, whom I met sitting in front of his house, told me that even though Hamza had not engaged in any indecent behaviour he still deserved to be punished “because he had broken Islamic laws”.

Abubakar Hamza is currently in Kano Central Prison awaiting trial where he will answer charges under Section 9 of the Prostitution and Immoral Acts Law.

If he is found guilty he will get either one year in prison or be asked to pay a fine equivalent to $80.
Transvestite Trial the Talk of Nigeria
BBC News, September 1, 2004

Gay man on the run after his partner “confessed” to having a gay relationship with him and a Shari'ah court issues an arrest warrant. Both are being charged with the “unholy” act of being gay

A Sharia court in Nigeria has issued an arrest warrant for a man, who, if caught, could face stoning to death for having a gay relationship.

The Islamic hardline court, which has been faced with international controversy before for its stance on adultery and women’s rights, is based in Keffi and, according to Nigerian press reports, is looking to arrest the man after his partner “confessed”.

However, the wanted man managed to escape before he could be arrested.

Both are being charged with the “unholy” act of being gay, although the trial has been postponed for both men, until the fleeing man is caught.

The news comes as gay refugees and their plight are beginning to garner more recognition here.
. . .

Sharia courts are based on tough Islamic infused law, and dole out the death by stoning penalty for what are viewed as serious crimes that are often linked to sexuality and “morality”.

Gay man whose partner was murdered by an angry mob, is granted asylum in the U.S. after being detained for 11 Months

A Nigerian gay man who fled to the US from his homeland after a angry mob murdered his partner has been granted asylum after being detained 11 months by immigration.

The man, whose name is being withheld, feared that his own life was in jeopardy. Homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria, and his partner was killed after it was discovered the two men had been in a relationship.

He arrived in New York without proper entry documents and was immediately taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
. . .
In March 2004, the man had a full hearing on his asylum application and lost, in large part because he was unable to present documentary evidence corroborating his claim. But lawyer Elise Schwarz and Immigration Equality never stopped fighting for him.

After a series of phone calls between New York and Nigeria Schwarz was able to obtain the slain partner’s death certificate and a key witness stepped forward to testify on the man’s behalf.

Schwarz then made a motion to the Board of Immigration Appeals to re-open the case and present the new evidence. The BIA granted the motion.

Finding that the man’s partner had been killed because of his sexual orientation, and finding that his own life would also be at risk if returned to Nigeria, the Immigration Judge granted him asylum.

After spending almost a year in ICE detention, he has now had his first glimpse of the Manhattan skyline, and he is working with community based organizations to find work Immigration Equality said Monday.
Gay Nigerian Detained 11 Months Wins US Asylum
Doreen Brandt,, December 6, 2004

50-years-old man who was acquitted of the charge of sodomy, sentenced to death by stoning after admitting that he has previously had homosexual sex

The UN special rapporteur on arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, has called for an immediate review of the entire process that led the man's death sentence under Islamic Sharia law.

Mr Alston says the man, who is about 50-years-old, had been accused of having sex with a much younger man.

He was acquitted of that charge.

But after the judge asked him if he had previously had homosexual sex, the man said yes.

The judge then sentenced him to be stoned to death.

Two men are charged with committing sodomy and could now face being stoned to death after they were caught together in a toilet

Two Nigerian men appeared in court on Wednesday charged with committing sodomy and could now face being stoned to death after they were caught together in a toilet in this northern Muslim city.

The hearing came just days after a senior United Nations envoy called on Nigeria to drop homosexuality from the list of crimes punishable by death under the strict version of Islamic law in force in the north of the country.

Yusuf Kabir (40) and 18-year-old Usman Sani appeared before Judge Mustapha Sani Saulawa at Katsina's Sharia Court Number Three, expecting to face the first substantive hearing in their case since their arrest on June 19.
. . .

Islamic sharia law was reintroduced in Katsina state in August 2001, making it one of a dozen mainly Muslim northern states to have readopted the code since Nigeria's return to civilian rule in 1999.
Gay Nigerian men face being stoned to death
Mail & Guardian Online, July 13, 2005

Following an elaborate wedding celebration, a polygamous lesbian and her four wives go into hiding from the Islamic police. The theatre which hosted the celebration is demolished by city's authorities

A Nigerian lesbian who "married" four women last weekend in Kano State has gone into hiding from the Islamic police, with her partners.

Under Sharia law, adopted in the state seven years ago, homosexuality and same-sex marriages are outlawed and considered very serious offences.

The theatre where the elaborate wedding celebration was held on Sunday has been demolished by Kano city's authorities.

Lesbianism is also illegal under Nigeria's national penal code.

Nigeria's parliament is considering tightening its laws on homosexuality.

Kano's Hisbah board, which uses volunteers to enforce Islamic law, told the BBC that the women's marriage was "unacceptable".

The BBC's Bala Ibrahim in Kano says Aunty Maiduguri and her four "wives" are thought to have gone into hiding the day after they married.

All five women, who are believed to be film actresses in the local home-video industry, were born Muslims, otherwise they would not be covered by Sharia law.

Islam says a man can take up to four wives if he is able to support them.

"As defenders of the Sharia laws, we shall not allow this unhealthy development to take root in the state," the Hisbah's deputy commander Ustaz Abubakar Rabo told Nigeria's This Day newspaper.

Mr Rabo told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that if the women were found guilty of lesbianism they faced one of two punishments.

For a married woman the offence would be considered adultery for which the punishment is death by stoning. A single woman would be caned.
Polygamous lesbians flee Sharia
BBC News, April 27, 2007

Eighteen men wearing women's clothes at a "gay wedding" are arrested for alleged sodomy. Shari'ah judge orders them remanded in prison. May face being stoned to death

Eighteen men have been remanded in prison following their arrest for alleged sodomy in northern Nigeria, the state-owned news agency, Nan, reports.

The men were arrested in a hotel in north-eastern Bauchi State, which is governed by the Islamic Sharia law.

The Sharia punishment for sodomy is death by stoning.

The men, reportedly wearing women's clothes, are said to have gone to Bauchi town from neighbouring states to celebrate a "gay wedding".

Sharia judge Malam Tanimu ordered that the 18 be remanded in prison after they were arraigned before him on Wednesday.

Prosecuting police officer Tadius Boboi said the men's actions had contravened Sharia law, adopted in Bauchi and a dozen other states in Muslim northern Nigeria in 2000.
Gay Nigerians face Sharia death
BBC News, August 10, 2007

Gays and lesbians "too dirty" for Allah. Scholar seeks death penalty and says they are worse than murderers and deserve more than capital punishment. “When they are killed, their corpse should also be mistreated”

Malam Abdulkadir Apaokagi, an Abuja-based Islamic scholar, on Sunday called for the imposition of the death penalty on homosexuals in Nigeria.

Apaokagi, in a sermon preached at the weekly prayer session of Nasrul–lahi-L-Fatih Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), said gays in Nigeria were perverts who did not deserve to co-exist with right thinking and decent people.

According to him, they are worse than murderers and deserve stiffer penalties than those accused of killing fellow human beings.

“Homosexuality and lesbianism are just too dirty in the sight of Allah, those who engage in them deserve more than capital punishment, he said. “When they are killed, their corpse should also be mistreated.”

Apaokagi, who is the deputy chief Imam at the Abuja branch of NASFAT, said in his lecture entitled: “The position of Islam on gay marriage”, that gay people were mentally unstable and could bring severe instability to the society in which they lived.

“None of them can pass a psychiatric test, because they are not normal,” he said.

The scholar's sermon came against the background of a recent law passed by the Senate banning same-sex marriage and public display of affection by gays in Nigeria and stipulating a 14-year jail term for violators.

Quoting from the Quran, Apaokagi hailed the Senate for passing the law, saying that Allah decreed marriages only between members of the opposite sex.

“Any society that tolerates gay marriage would come to destruction the way God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for sodomy,” he said.

“They are criminals, Allah Himself describes them so, and it is great that the Senate has criminalised what they are trying to do.”

He urged the House of Representatives to take a cue from the Senate, and pass its own version of the bill without delay so that President Goodluck Jonathan could sign a harmonised version into law.

Apaokagi also urged Nigerians to ignore criticisms from the West, and come together as one to fight practices that might bring destruction to their country.

In his contribution, Alhaji AbdulHakeem Bello, told the congregation: “Whenever any of you sees something that is indecent, change it with your hands. If you cannot change it with your hands, use your tongue to condemn it.

“The anti-gay law is very popular in Nigeria because it aligns with popular religious, cultural and moral principles of majority of citizens.”
Islamic scholar seeks death penalty for homosexuals
Emmanuel Okubenji, Daily Times Nigeria, December 5, 2011