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Mass Arrest at Alleged Same-Sex Wedding in Nigeria – Calls for Release and Repeal of Abusive Anti-Gay Law

Alleged Same-Sex Union: Nigerian Authorities Detain Numerous Individuals for Involvement. (Photo: Google)

Nigerian Police detain dozens accused of violating Anti-Gay Law by allegedly attending same-sex wedding. 

Suspected Same-Sex Union: Nigerian Authorities Detain Numerous Individuals for Involvement. (Photo: Google)

A Total of 67 Individuals Are Being Held in Custody Due to Allegations of Violating the Anti-Gay Law by Participating in the Same-Sex Wedding Held in the Town of Ekpan in Delta State

In an article published by HRW.ORG, in Nigeria’s Delta State, numerous people were arrested for their alleged involvement in a same-sex wedding, which violates the country’s anti-gay law. The police publicly displayed the suspects, same-sex wedding attendees, questioning them and infringing upon their dignity, rights to privacy, association, and a fair trial.

The Delta State commissioner of police confirmed that 67 individuals were arrested for conducting or attending the event, an act prohibited by Nigeria’s Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act.  The police shared this spectacle on their Facebook page despite a 2022 court ruling against such practices, which violate human rights and dignity. The law enacted in 2014 criminalizes same-sex marriage, public displays of such relationships, and involvement in gay organizations.

Human Rights Watch’s 2016 report revealed the law’s association with abuses against LGBTQ individuals. Nigerian authorities are urged to hold the police accountable, cease this practice, release those arrested, and work towards repealing the anti-gay law.

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Mass Arrest of Same-Sex Wedding Attendees Sparks Outcry from LGBTQ Activists in Nigeria

According to VOA’s published article, growing criticism surrounds the recent incident, prompting Amnesty International to denounce the arrests on the platform formerly known as Twitter (X). The organization urges authorities to immediately cease what they deem a “witch-hunt” against LGBTQ individuals. Amnesty International emphasizes that the arrests are discriminatory based on perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. They highlight that Nigeria’s laws are increasingly employed by officers to harass, extort, and blackmail victims.

Activists have voiced concerns about the erosion of basic rights like privacy and freedom of association. While some activists defend those detained, a police spokesperson contends that adherence to the country’s laws is paramount. It’s noteworthy that homosexuality is often considered a Western import in many African regions, including Nigeria.

For instance, in May, Uganda enacted a law imposing the death penalty for same-sex marriage, defying pressure from Western governments and rights organizations. This week, two men faced charges under the new law for what authorities labeled as “aggravated homosexuality.”

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