Angry Mob Attacks 14 Alleged Gay Men In Abuja, Police Assault Them...

Angry Mob Attacks 14 Alleged Gay Men In Abuja, Police Assault Them Too

By Wires | The Trent on February 16, 2014
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gay marriage

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 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.

Activists have warned the law could trigger attacks such as the one perpetrated in the early hours of Thursday morning in Abuja, the capital of Africa’s most populous nation.

Mob justice is common in Nigeria and civil rights organizations have been warning for years of an increase in community violence and the government’s failure to curb acts in which people have been beaten to death for perceived crimes such as theft.

“Since the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act was signed, we have expressed concern as a friend of Nigeria that it might be used by some to justify violence against Nigerians based on their sexual orientation,” the U.S. Embassy said in a statement Friday. “Recent attacks in Abuja deepen our concern on this front.”

The police spokeswoman for the Federal Capital Territory, Deputy Superintendent Altine Daniel, said she was unaware of the attack but would try to get details for The Associated Press.

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 New York-based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission condemned the attack and warned, “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.”

Orazulike said he went to the police station later Thursday and met with a senior officer who ordered the four men released because there was no evidence that they were gay and they had not been caught having sex.

Four were severely injured and others suffered bruises, he said. They were treated at his organization’s clinic because they were afraid to go to the hospital.

“They said the police slapped and kicked them and swore at them,” he said.

Dorothy Aken’Ova, executive director of Nigeria’s International Center for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights, said she stayed up all night Wednesday trying to get police and Civil Defense to send officers to the scene after she got a phone call from a man who was being attacked.

“Instead of helping them, apparently some of them were arrested,” she told AP. “None of the (law enforcement) agents responded to our distress calls.”

Dozens of allegedly gay people have been arrested since President Goodluck Jonathan signed the bill into law in January. It not only forbids gay marriage, which carries a 14-year jail sentence, it makes it a crime for anyone, straight or homosexual, to hold a meeting of gays or to advocate human rights for gays. Convicted offenders can be jailed for up to 10 years.

(via PM News)

4 COMMENTS

  1. I have been following this story as it has been ongoin and I think there is something that tou all fail to understand. Nigerians have a mob mentality, act first and ask questions later and this is how lots of people hace been killed in cold blood because they were suspected of what they are not. I think gay or straight no one has the right to pass jugement of beating or even death to a person because of his/her sexual orientation. The straights will also be affected by this because any guy or girl can hold a beef for another and just spread the rumour, what is your means of proof. This is why I my stand to it it that the Law showuld be reviewed, banning same-sex marriage is perfectly ok, but locking up people “suspected” to be gay is not necessary, that part is against human rights.
    Let us be able to critically analyse this for the benefit of the innocent that will fall by this law.

  2. JAIL THE GAYS joor!
    Before they corrupt our kids and our morals!
    Exterminate them from our vicinity before they pollute our sanity as human beings.

  3. The act is immoral in this global conglomeration. Actions should be intensified to quarrantine those involved. However, I would comment it is barbaric and unscrupulous to mob people caught in the act but rather report the offender. It is against human right to brutalise an individual caught in
    homosexuality. Be warned

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