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Human rights activists on Saturday revealed that a mob armed with clubs and iron bars took 14 men and abused them for allegedly being gay in the Capital of Nigeria, Abuja.
Police Officers allegedly beat up four of the victim who were taken to their station. This was revealed by Orazulike Ifeanyi of the International Center on Advocacy for the Right to Health.
The Police had threatened that those men would be jailed for a dozen and two years as stipulated by Nigeria’s new Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act. There is a pensive mood across the nation that this new law may be abused by law enforcement agencies.
The US Embassy in Nigeria through a statement on Friday warned about the probability of the law being abused
“Since the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act was signed, we have expressed concern as a friend of Nigeria that it might be used by some to justify violence against Nigerians based on their sexual orientation,”
“Recent attacks in Abuja deepen our concern on this front.”
The Associated Press reports that the police spokeswoman for the Federal Capital Territory, Deputy Superintendent Altine Daniel claims to be unaware of the attacks but says she will investigate the matter.
It has been reported that dozens of suspected gay people have been arrested since President Goodluck Jonathan signed the anti-gay bill into law last month. The law forbids gay marriage, which could hand an offender a 14-years jail sentence term and also makes it a crime for anyone, straight or homosexual, to hold a meeting of gays or to advocate human rights for gays. Those holding a meeting of gay people or advocating for gay rights could be put in jail for ten (10) years
The U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, James F. Entwistle, during a recent radio program assured Nigerians that the United States would not be cutting aid because of the new anti-gay law.
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