On the 14th of January 2014, the world woke up to the shocking news that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had assented to the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill passed by the National Assembly of the country criminalising gay relationships and prescribing 14 years imprisonment for LGBT people in the country (the "Nigerian Anti-Gay Law").
The Nigerian Anti-same sex Law further criminalizes the witnessing or aiding of same sex relationships, as well as the direct or indirect public show of same sex "amorous relationship".
Worse still, the Nigerian Anti-same sex Law imposes a prison sentence of 10 years on anyone who initiates or supports the registration of gay clubs, societies and organisations; or whose actions permit the sustenance, processions and meetings of gay people.
The UN Human Rights Chief, Navi Pillay said of this law: "Rarely have I seen a piece of legislation that in so few paragraphs directly violates so many basic, universal human rights."
Since the signing of the Nigerian Anti-same sex Law, a number of people have been arrested in Nigeria, especially in the north of the country. In Bauchi State alone, more than a dozen people were arrested under the Nigerian Anti-same sex Law and arraigned in court and in at least one instance, mobs threatened and pelted a courthouse with stones, after being unable to inflict violence on the accused persons. In the south of the country, mob violence against LGBT people has increased.
Today, the Nigerian LGBT community and their friends, families and allies live in an atmosphere of fear and insecurity.
In the light of these disturbing facts, the Solidarity Alliance, Nigeria calls on the world to join in a Global Day of Action on the 7th of March 2014.
This is a global call to stand against violent and legalized homophobia, social injustice and systematic violation of fundamental human rights.
Join us, wherever you are in the world on the 7th of march 2014.
Nigeria: Ifeanyi Kelly Orazulike
+234 807 494 9006
America: Michael Ighodaro
+1 347 348 9813
Europe: Bisi Alimi
+44 794 799 6353
Published on February 13, 2014 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization