Alleged Gay Men Dragged from Homes in Nigeria, Beaten

Nigeria

Fresh reports of attacks on men perceived to be gay are coming out of Nigeria.

OrazulikeThe AP reports:

A mob armed with wooden clubs and iron bars, screaming that they were going to "cleanse" their neighborhood of gay people, dragged 14 young men from their beds and assaulted them, human rights activists said Saturday.

Four of the victims were marched to a police station, where they allegedly were kicked and punched by police officers who yelled pejoratives at them, said Ifeanyi Orazulike (pictured) of the International Center on Advocacy for the Right to Health.

Police threatened that the men would be incarcerated for 14 years, he said, the maximum prison sentence under Nigeria's new Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, dubbed the "Jail the Gays" law.

AbujaIGLHRC adds:

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has received reports that approximately 10 men, perceived to be gay, were beaten by a mob of some 40 persons in the community of Geshiri near Abuja last night or early this morning. The local police reportedly arrested 5 of the victims of the attack and later released them. Most of the men suffered injuries from the attack and are now in hiding.

The attack is part of what seems to be a recent surge of arrests and vigilante violence against individuals and groups perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). These incidents surfaced after Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan signed a law into effect that not only criminalizes same-sex unions, broadly speaking, but also applies harsh jail sentences to anyone found guilty of directly or indirectly depicting homosexual relations in public or who is in any way linked to the operations of organizations advocating for the human rights of those in same-sex relationships.

“What we see in Nigeria is the sadly predictable breakdown of the rule of law that comes after such an anti-democratic law went into effect,” said Jessica Stern, Executive Director of IGLHRC. “Regardless of what anyone thinks of homosexuality or transgenderism, the state has an obligation to ensure the safety of all Nigerians.”

The AP adds:

Orazulike said he got a panicked email from a colleague who said he was hiding from a mob of 40 people who struck around 1 a.m. Thursday, going from house to house saying their mission was "to cleanse" the area of gays. He said they used pieces of wood and iron to beat up 14 young men. Orazulike said he drove from his home at 4 a.m. Thursday to save the man in Gishiri, a shantytown with mud roads near central Abuja.

Those attacked are in hiding and too scared to speak to reporters, he said, recounting their story.

"They were told 'If you come back, we will kill you.'"

The walls of houses where the men lived have been painted with graffiti declaring "Homosexuals, pack and leave," he said.

The four men brought to the police station were beaten and later released because of lack of evidence.

Comments

  1. SpaceCadet says

    So sad. Police actually arrested the victims? Not the attackers? And it’s just enough to be perceived as gay to be violently attacked by mobs and persecuted by local police and law? Surely even straight people end up being bashed because they are perceived as gay. I think foreign aid to Nigeria needs to be cut off. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham proposes cutting off aid to Afghanistan because they’re releasing militants from prison that U.S. soldiers fought hard and died to capture, but where are the talks of threatening to cut off aid to Nigeria or Uganda?

  2. mike says

    What is the point/purpose of the United Nations? (Other than the obvious, a giant waste of concrete in mid-town Manhattan.)

  3. Rad says

    This is sickening and it is so much to digest.

    For a brief moment, I stepped back and wondered how did vile behavior ever get a foot hold… then I remembered… thank you, Christians and church. Let’s drill over and over into uneducated minds that it’s okay to hate gays in the name of God.

  4. Mike Ryan says

    I don’t know why items like this are reported here and elsewhere. Nothing is every done to stop the violence, the perpetrators are always ‘arrested’ then quickly let go, the victims suffer for the rest of their lives – and again, we do nothing. We keep sending them funding under the guise of “AIDs assistance” but you know as well as I do the money is never used for that purposed – it goes directly into the hands of the corrupt politicians. And yet we do nothing but wring our hands, pontificate on how awful it is, and go on with our secure daily lives here in the U.S. WE have the power to stop the injustice.

  5. Fahd says

    Not to detract from the import of the story, but the headline should read “Allegedly Gay…” shouldn’t it?

  6. jamal49 says

    It will get worse. Much worse. Email, petition your Congressperson. Email, petition the State Dept. and Sec. John Kerry. Email petition the United Nations. And the Nigerian Embassy.

    This is bad, very very bad. Nigeria’s gay people are caught between the muslim rock and the christian hard place.

    Both of those vile, despicable religions are tightening their collective noose of hate around the necks of innocent people, whether they be gay or straight, only because they are perceived to be “different”.

    White, American evangelicals are up to their necks in this and it’s time we hold them accountable, too.

    Peoples’ lives in Nigeria and other repressive countries depend on what we can do here to help them and stop this ever-increasing onslaught of violence against LGBT people.

  7. Greg says

    And still no Western sanctions against Nigeria. The US and European aid keeps flowing despite the ominous black clouds lowering over Africa. Does Nigeria have to start putting gays in gas ovens before the world breaks its silence. What happened to “Never Again”?

  8. enchantra says

    Jamal you are as full of crap as a Christmas turkey. Islam and Islam alone is the problem in Nigeria. Bishop Akinola is a turd, but he is not a malevolent turd, he’s trying to keep the muzzies from gaining more power.

  9. Gigi says

    Alleged gay men, or gay men allegedly…? Either way, WTF! We can thank our evangelical Talibangelist friends for this.

  10. JackFknTwist says

    @ JAMAL49 :

    Absolutely right !
    It is so easy to be complacent about the tenuous rights of equality that we seem to have to win by attrition, year in year out.

    Then again Berlin in the twenties and early thirties, before the Nazis came to power, was a wonderful vibrant, decadent, art loving city.
    That soon changed, they started off with the burning of books.
    Then they picked on a visible minority.

    The Christians have always done the same thing; they spent centuries burning people who disagreed with them……hundreds of thousands of human sacrifices.
    Toxic religions must be kept in the privacy of the home; I don’t believe that something so poisonous to human health should go unregulated.
    And it’s clear from Nigeria that ignorance and religion are a toxic substance.

  11. JackFknTwist says

    @ JAMAL49 :

    Absolutely right !
    It is so easy to be complacent about the tenuous rights of equality that we seem to have to win by attrition, year in year out.

    Then again Berlin in the twenties and early thirties, before the Nazis came to power, was a wonderful vibrant, decadent, art loving city.
    That soon changed, they started off with the burning of books.
    Then they picked on a visible minority.

    The Christians have always done the same thing; they spent centuries burning people who disagreed with them……hundreds of thousands of human sacrifices.
    Toxic religions must be kept in the privacy of the home; I don’t believe that something so poisonous to human health should go unregulated.
    And it’s clear from Nigeria that ignorance and religion are a toxic substance.

  12. dumbnhung says

    Easy to say and simplistic I’m sure but if you’re gay and you’re in Nigeria – get the hell out before you’re exterminated.

  13. Mark says

    Don’t mean to sound dumb, but don’t we have an asylum procedure here in the U.S.? Can’t people apply for it and, in some cases, be granted asylum if they are in imminent danger? I know it wouldn’t be something that would happen overnight, but somewhere along the line we need to figure out a way to help these people.

    And I have another question: Could it be possible that the headlines are now covering more atrocities like this one because of the recent gains the U.S. has made in the way of equality? This question came up at a business meeting recently and it left me wondering if that might be the case. People in other countries see how the U.S. is progressing (albeit slowly but surely) towards equality, so they are reacting in a violent way towards us in other countries to try and assure the same thing doesn’t happen there.

    It’s just a thought to ponder. Not meant to sway off-topic or create discourse in the forum. Just adding food for thought.

  14. Jude says

    There won’t be any sanctions against Nigeria because Nigeria’s government is a strong ally to the West and helps fight against radical Islamic terrorists. Nigeria is also a major exporter of oil. Where there is oil there is money.

    The US says nothing about the horrible human rights abuses that take place in Saudi Arabia or other oil producing allies in the Middle East. Nor does the US place sanctions against other allied nations that have terrible human rights policies where those nations offer some kind strategic or tactical advantage.

    American foreign policy only cares about human rights abuses when there is significant public opinion and action that forces action or the offending nation. Even then, it’s done with great reluctance.

  15. Joe in Ct says

    Will someone please name the U.S. Christian leaders who have encouraged this atrocity in Nigeria? We need to storm their churches and demand accountability.

  16. acde says

    Right, it is important to remember that these attitudes and beliefs were introduced from the west during colonial times and have recently been encouraged in a big way by “Christians” like Scott Lively from the USA who have lost the anti- LGBT battle in the west. The other significant queerhate influence is from Islam – also an export from the near east to Africa.

    It is better to consider all the known facts before making generalized statements

  17. bry_ says

    Why are so many gay people so incredibly uninformed about any political situation, unless it directly involves them? Come on people, the US will never suspend all aid in Nigeria. In fact, Nigeria increasingly doesn’t even need US aid. It has a number of problems, particularly in the area of Christian-Muslim relations, but truth be told, it has some of the largest oil reserves in the world, and China is establishing very good relations all across Africa. Try to petition for more US-Euro asylum, and we should work with them encouraging greater development (which tends to reduce religiosity). Also, recognize finally that we can’t export our life everywhere and maybe LGBT people there can figure things out given their own cultures and histories.