4 Accused Gay Men Are Whipped In Nigerian Court
The Associated Press is reporting that four alleged gay men were whipped publicly as punishment issued by an Islamic court in Nigeria.
Homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria.
Four young men were convicted of gay sex and whipped publicly as punishment Thursday in an Islamic court in northern Nigeria, a human rights activist said.
The four were among dozens caught in a wave of arrests after Nigeria strengthened its criminal penalties for homosexuality with the new Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act in January.
The men could face further violence in prison if human rights organizations do not come up with an additional fine of 20,000 naira ($120) each meted out Thursday by a judge in Bauchi city, Dorothy Aken'Ova, convenor of the Coalition for the Defense of Sexual Rights Network, told The Associated Press. The four were sentenced to 15 strokes plus a year's imprisonment if they cannot pay the fine.
Aken'Ova said the men, aged between 20 and 22, should not have been convicted because their confessions were forced by law agents who beat them.
She said they had to prostrate themselves on the floor of the court to be whipped on their backsides.
Just to clarify, these are legally enforced attacks on gay men who are guilty of no "crime" beyond allegedly participating in gay sex.
Will this type of action, at the very least, impact the foreign aid that is provided to a nation participating in such extreme human rights violations?
Something impactful has to occur.
It should also be noted that the judge claims he was being "lenient" with his sentence:
On Thursday, the judge said he was lenient because the men had promised that the homosexual acts occurred in the past and that they had since changed their ways, according to Aken'Ova.
What steps should be taken to ensure change, Instincters?