Police arrest 42 gay men in Lagos

More than 40 men were arrested over the weekend for homosexual acts in Nigeria, police say.

Fox News citing a Nigerian newspaper The Punch reports  that the police raided a hotel in Lagos State on Saturday.

Same-sex acts are punishable by up to 14 years in jail in Nigeria, while gay marriage and displays of same-sex affection are also banned.

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A man pushes a cart in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos.   (Reuters)

The African country has an influential Christian evangelical movement as well as strong support for Islamic law, both of which oppose homosexuality, reports the BBC.

Nigeria has had a ban on gay relationships since 1901.

According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, same-sex relations are explicitly banned in 72 countries — although the number of nations that criminalize such relations has been decreasing each year.

Since Nigeria passed a law criminalising same sex marriage and gay organisations in 2013, law enforcement agents have cracked down on people suspected of homosexuality. However, arrests are infrequent as homosexual people live in hiding.

Gay people live in fear and cannot openly express their sexual orientation. They are not protected by any law so they face discrimination.

Northern states under Sharia – Islamic religious law – have the death penalty for people convicted of same-sex offences which in other states carry a 14-year jail term.

This is not the first arrest for engaging in acts of homosexuality but so far prosecutions have never ended in prison.

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SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (local news)

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