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 states.

“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 development.”

“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 said.