Officials in Nigeria have reportedly
arrested dozens of gay people following passage of a law that
criminalizes gay unions.
The law, secretly signed by President
Goodluck Jonathan in the last two weeks, prohibits the state from
recognizing the relationships of gay couples, mandates a 14 year
prison sentence for anyone who enters a same-sex marriage or civil
union, prohibits the public promotion of gay rights and outlaws gay
clubs and organizations.
According to the
AP, 38 people suspected of being gay had been arrested in the
northern state of Bauchi since Christmas.
London-based Amnesty International on
Wednesday said that ten more people were detained in four southern
“Amnesty International is calling on
the authorities to stop all further arrests and put an immediate end
to this witch hunt,” the group said in a statement.
Leaders in the predominantly Muslim
northern states praised the law's passage.
Usman Nabahani, the deputy head of the
Hisbah in Kano state, told AFP that the law was a “welcome
“From now on, we will go into every
nook and corner of Kano state to ensure that [the prohibition of]
prostitution, gay marriages, marriages of the same sex and
consumption of alcohol … is fully complied with, so that we can
have a decent society,” Nabahani