Nigeria Torturing Gay People to ID Others

Uganda is not the only African country with a harsh new anti-gay law. Nigeria also has a new law that puts gay people in prison for 10 years for anyone who “registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies or organizations, or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria.” And they’re allegedly torturing people in order to round up other gay Nigerians:

Police, working off a list of 168 suspects purportedly obtained through torture, are arresting dozens of gay men in Nigeria’s northern Bauchi state, human rights activists said Tuesday.

A new law in Nigeria, dubbed the “Jail the Gays” bill, is encouraging the persecution of gays and will endanger programs fighting HIV-AIDS in the gay community, said Dorothy Aken’Ova, executive director of Nigeria’s International Center for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights.

On Monday, President Goodluck Jonathan’s office confirmed that the Nigerian leader signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act that criminalizes gay marriage, gay organizations and anyone working with or promoting them.

In Bauchi state, police entrapped four gay men and tortured them into naming others, Aken’Ova said. She said the police have drawn up a list of 168 wanted gay men, of whom 38 have been arrested in recent weeks.

This is barbarism, plain and simple.

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  • D. C. Sessions

    It’s good to see that American values are taking root in Africa.

  • busterggi

    Barbarism bought & paid for by American Republican Christians who wish they could do they could do that here in the US.

  • maddog1129

    They should name the police officers torturing them and Aken’Ova and Johnson.

  • John Pieret

    Africa is truly becoming the dark continent.

  • tubi


    Aken’Ova is on the side of right in this, I believe.

    As for the others, we all know how reliable is the information gained via torture. Of course, falsely accusing one of the cops would probably result in harsher torture, or worse.

  • eric

    Hey Torquemada, waddaya say?

    I just got back from the Auto da fe.

    Auto da fe, what’s an auto da fe?

    Its what you oughtn’t to do but you do anyway…

  • Sastra

    And in the United States gay people are allowed to marry the person they love while Christians must read and hear about it and can do nothing to stop it. Surely both extremes are equally reprehensible.

    (Yes, I am being sarcastic.)

  • Moggie

    Remember when Americans could tell other countries that torture is wrong, without being laughed at?

  • dugglebogey

    Torture is illegal, immoral and has been proven to not work.

    Other than that, it’s great.

  • sharonb

    Just wait to the political parties, tribal enemies, and rival preachers figure out they can use this against each other.

    THEN, the real fun begins!

  • DaveL


    I’d be very surprised if they hadn’t figured it out already. It’s one of those “feature-not-a-bug” things.

  • otrame

    I didn’t even read what you wrote on this, Ed. The title was enough. It’s so fucking depressing. There are times when I just want to give up on human beings. I am going out to the garden to plant peas and check on the cabbages*. I am having a war with moon snails atm and the local grackles are enjoying cleaning up the mess when I throw the damned cabbage-eating snails over my fence onto the street. Because even though I am as human as those people in Nigeria, that is about as violent as I ever want to be.

    *Why, yes, I live in South Texas. How can you tell?

  • Moggie, a lot of people would argue that America has never had a firm leg to stand on regarding torture. In the 20th Century at least the US supported a lot of governments that regularly used torture.

  • marcus

    I shouldn’t be but I am shocked at how far beyond just declaring an activity (in the minds of the bigots) illegal this really is. Even in Russia, reprehensible though it is, they just seem intent on driving gay people back into the closet. This is savagery.

  • TxSkeptic

    I’d say this is the modern version of witch hunting here, except that they are also literally hinting witches in many African countries as well. The cause of both of these phenomenon is pretty much the same load of christian crap imported by amurikan fundagelicals.

  • escuerd

    busterggi @ 2:

    Barbarism bought & paid for by American Republican Christians who wish they could do they could do that here in the US.

    Sort of. The new federal law that was passed was strongly influenced by American Christians pushing anti-gay legislation throughout Africa, including Nigeria, but Africa has plenty of homegrown homophobia too. The story says this happened in Bauchi state, which is one of the northern, Muslim-majority states that has long-since adopted a Shari’a-based penal code. I checked, and apparently the prescribed punishment in Bauchi state is “stoning to death (rajm) or by any other means decided by the state,” and that has been true since at the early 2000s at the very latest.

    The punishment of 14 years imprisonment is prescribed by the federal law. I’m not sure how that squares with the state laws in the Nigerian legal system, but given the distinction in the article between Muslims and non-Muslims, and the apparent use of torture (which would certainly qualify as “any other means decided by the state”), I’m betting that the latter takes precedence.

    marcus @ 14:

    Even in Russia, reprehensible though it is, they just seem intent on driving gay people back into the closet. This is savagery.

    Driving gay people back into the closet is how it starts. Much of the reason that gay people have been able to make progress is by coming out of the closet and causing more straight people to realize that someone they love or care about is gay. It shows that we’re real human beings, not some faceless abstraction.

    Just in the last week, the Russian Orthodox Church started explicitly pushing for the government to ban homosexuality outright.–oly.html

    And thanks to these recent “anti-propoganda” laws, it looks like it will be effectively illegal to publicly oppose such legislation (after all the children might hear). Killing or imprisoning gay people has been the endgame all along, and many want to see it through (apparently international treaties are the main obstacle at this point).

    All that said, I agree that the situation in Nigeria is worse and sadly they will affect even more people. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising, since homosexuality was already outlawed throughout that country, so they had a head start in their anti-gay persecution.

  • escuerd

    Ugh, I really need to proofread my posts before submitting.

    “Much of the reason” –> “One of the primary ways”

    “sadly they will affect” –> “sadly it will affect”.

  • tiredofusernamerules

    They should name the legislators who enacted this law and the police who are enforcing it.

  • howardhershey

    “Torture is illegal, immoral and has been proven to not work.”

    Actually torture works very well at getting the answers the torturer wants.

    The truth, not so much.