Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation
Africa

Mob attacks suspected gays in Nigeria to ‘cleanse’ their neighborhood

Saturday, February 15, 2014

ABUJA, Nigeria — A mob armed with wooden clubs and iron bars, screaming that they were going to “cleanse” their neighborhood of gay people, dragged 14 young men from their beds and assaulted them, human rights activists said Saturday.

Four of the victims were marched to a police station, where they allegedly were kicked and punched by police officers who yelled pejoratives at them, said Ifeanyi Orazulike of the International Center on Advocacy for the Right to Health.

NigeriaPolice threatened that the men would be incarcerated for 14 years, he said, the maximum prison sentence under Nigeria’s new Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, dubbed the “Jail the Gays” law. Activists have warned the law could trigger attacks such as the one perpetrated in the early hours of Thursday morning in Abuja, the capital of Africa’s most populous nation.

Mob justice is common in Nigeria and civil rights organizations have been warning for years of an increase in community violence and the government’s failure to curb acts in which people have been beaten to death for perceived crimes such as theft.

“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,” the U.S. Embassy said in a statement Friday. “Recent attacks in Abuja deepen our concern on this front.”

The police spokeswoman for the Federal Capital Territory, Deputy Superintendent Altine Daniel, said she was unaware of the attack but would try to get details for The Associated Press.

Orazulike said he got a panicked email from a colleague who said he was hiding from a mob of 40 people who struck around 1 a.m. Thursday, going from house to house saying their mission was “to cleanse” the area of gays. He said they used pieces of wood and iron to beat up 14 young men. Orazulike said he drove from his home at 4 a.m. Thursday to save the man in Gishiri, a shantytown with mud roads near central Abuja.

Those attacked are in hiding and too scared to speak to reporters, he said, recounting their story.

“They were told ‘If you come back, we will kill you.’”

The walls of houses where the men lived have been painted with graffiti declaring “Homosexuals, pack and leave,” he said.

The New York-based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission condemned the attack and warned, “It is important that people understand that this kind of violence can happen to anyone and that the government seems to have abdicated its responsibility to protect people from violence and impunity.”

Orazulike said he went to the police station later Thursday and met with a senior officer who ordered the four men released because there was no evidence that they were gay and they had not been caught having sex.

Four were severely injured and others suffered bruises, he said . They were treated at his organization’s clinic because they were afraid to go to the hospital.

“They said the police slapped and kicked them and swore at them,” he said.

Dozens of allegedly gay people have been arrested since President Goodluck Jonathan signed the bill into law in January. It not only forbids gay marriage, which carries a 14-year jail sentence, it makes it a crime for anyone, straight or homosexual, to hold a meeting of gays or to advocate human rights for gays. Convicted offenders can be jailed for up to 10 years.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s initiative to promote the rights of homosexuals has been rebuffed in Africa, where Uganda also is considering a draconian law carrying penalties of up to life imprisonment for certain gay acts.

Many Africans believe homosexuality is an evil import from the West.

However, the U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, James F. Entwistle, on a recent radio program assured Nigerians that the United States would not be cutting aid because of the new anti-gay law.

© 2014, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Archives: , , ,

Filed under: Africa

84 more reader comments:

  1. I’d love for someone to try this on me

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:03pm
  2. IGNORANCE AND CHRISTIAN HYPOCRISY IS A WORLD WIDE EPIDEMIC!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:03pm
  3. What the??

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:04pm
  4. Disgusting wretched third world.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:04pm
  5. I can not for the life of me understand why people are so worried about others henetalia, and what they do with it.. PERVERTS!! Namaste.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:05pm
  6. Just like Kristallnacht.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:05pm
  7. Sounds like what the Republican Taliban here in the US is trying to do with laws instead of violence. Won’t be long before you see worse things happening to gays here because of their actions.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:06pm
  8. Thats some messed up stuff!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:07pm
  9. This is what religious cleansing looks like!! This is what religious hatred and ignorance looks like!! This is why there is no god, no heaven, no hell, it is all about human control and hatred.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:08pm
  10. “Many Africans believe homosexuality is an evil import from the West.” Okay.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:08pm
  11. Explain what you mean by "Okay."

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:30pm
  12. I'm just blown away that people actually believe this nonsense.

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:33pm
  13. NO, SO NOT OKAY!!!

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 11:53pm
  14. Such stupidity, and for what?

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:08pm
  15. fuck uganda and fuck nigeria; the crown should have conquered the entire continent.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:08pm
  16. STFU Wasp Asshole...

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:48pm
  17. You STFU Rog. I completely understand his anger and extreme reaction. The fact that you don't just shows how ignorant you are.

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 11:28pm
  18. Absolutely terrifying …… don’t think I’ll be visiting Nigeria any time soon !!!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:11pm
  19. Gays should take up arms and organize self defense militia!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:13pm
  20. and paint a target on themselves.. better to move to a more tolerant place

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 11:48pm
  21. We cannot run in our own nations we confront bigots eveyday its time to fight back.

    Replied on Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 1:13am
  22. Fuck that! Cut all aid!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:14pm
  23. I’m just so disgusted with Uganda, Nigeria and Russia. What is wrong with the eastern nations?

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:15pm
  24. When is the organization NOM going to be rounded up and jailed. They started this evil. They need to be held accountable for this genocide. All NOM personnel should be rounded up and sent to the Hague for prosecution for Human Rights crimes.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:16pm
  25. Actually there are lawsuits from gay Ugandans happening here in the US against the Evangelicals who went and preached their hate there. It may take a long time for a verdict, many might not live to see it if this abhorrent behavior keeps happening.

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:51pm
  26. Organize and fight back. REMEMBER STONEWALL !!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:17pm
  27. Stop these rich dictators travelling to EU countries…..

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:18pm
  28. Tooo sad!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:19pm
  29. Looks like they’re continuing the colonials work.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:21pm
  30. Their blood is on the hands of the religious right

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:21pm
  31. Just so not right, Africans need to come out of the dark ages, this type of things and even the support of the president should not be tolerated by the the world.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:23pm
  32. Salem Witch hunt all over again.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:23pm
  33. Winslow Robertson?

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:24pm
  34. That’s religion for you no matter what anyone says religion is the reason for most of the hate and wars in this world. I wonder who funding all this hate in Russia, Africa etc. religion Sucks

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:24pm
  35. American Christians are probably sending money in the guise of charity money.

    Replied on Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 12:07am
  36. Africa explodes with hatred– I’d like to know the source of this…

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:32pm
  37. American Christian missionaries who can't keep their hatefilled sermons here.

    Replied on Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 12:09am
  38. Are we going back to the dark ages ,again !!!!!!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:33pm
  39. I hope to god that ALL of the victims were Straight bigots who would have joined in the mob had they been given the chance.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:33pm
  40. Facebook Jesus says burn fags burn

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:35pm
  41. Jesus says nothing about it. His sacrifice made the Old laws obsolete—the ones about shellfish and homosexuality.

    Jesus DID say: judge not lest ye be judged. Also: turn the other cheek.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:42pm
  42. Jesus doesn't say anything he is dead.

    Replied on Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 12:08am
  43. Wow. I can’t believe we’re in the 21st Century. Barbarians!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:46pm
  44. sound like good a-gawd a fearin’ chrisjuns

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:47pm
  45. Facebook Jesus, has sex with horses

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:48pm
  46. Horrible!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:52pm
  47. Sheesh!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:57pm
  48. Barbaric

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 5:59pm
  49. Wow! Craziness. So incredibly scary.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 6:04pm
  50. Is the UN going to do something?

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 6:08pm
  51. No, of course they won't.

    Replied on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 11:28pm
  52. Let’s just invade Nigeria already. Or sanction them into economic ruin.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 6:22pm
  53. History does repeat itself, over and over again. Give the ignorant masses a scapegoat to blame for what isn’t working in their society, (poverty, hunger, disease) and they will feel soothed and placated after many heads are bashed in. It worked for the Nazi’s. Funny how the problems never seem to go away afterwards.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 6:27pm
  54. Face book HIV Jesus swallows.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 6:27pm
  55. Awful….

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 6:46pm
  56. how horrific and terrifying, this must be stopped!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 7:06pm
  57. It should be the opposite.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 7:18pm
  58. Fuck Africa the whole continent can rot.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 7:30pm
  59. Terrifying

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 7:36pm
  60. Yet, people are saying that it is Old White Men in government causing this..I don’t see no white folks in Nigeria!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 7:37pm
  61. What bigotry!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 7:37pm
  62. Pull all government aid to that country immediately…

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 7:43pm
  63. How Disgusting!!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 7:56pm
  64. Good,Good,cure f Gays,R K L

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:09pm
  65. ……and who please is cleaning the neighborhood from the friggin mob???

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:10pm
  66. This is what happens when any religion is forced on uneducated societies. In the blind minds, this hate filled religion causes the people to think completely backwards. Hate of this magnitude can only be tolerated so long until one of their government officials stands up & declares NO MORE.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:12pm
  67. STOP THIS!!!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:24pm
  68. lets all send them guns

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:42pm
  69. Gays should join army take up human rights arms and become a nation and send troops to homophobic countries and seek justice to those who harm gays will be stain a in our courts and tried with death

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 9:03pm
  70. Let’s arm Nigerian gays with AR15s ..

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 9:21pm
  71. Ignorance runs rampant.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 9:25pm
  72. Kabokot!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 10:04pm
  73. This echoes Krystal Nacht !!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 10:31pm
  74. My heart goes out to the gays in Nigeria

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 10:52pm
  75. Amazing what religions that preach love can make people do!

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 10:52pm
  76. gays have always bin valued in a tribal situation. its the invading west that have messed things up for africans and elsewhere big time.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 10:53pm
  77. It’s like Hitler’s “Black Shirts” spreading across the globe.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 10:57pm
  78. Paid for by the religious right in the United States.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 11:37pm
  79. WHERE’S THE UN?

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 11:52pm
  80. These poor Men.

    Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 11:58pm
  81. And so the murders begin. :( Hate because Christians can’t mind their own business,

    Posted on Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 12:06am
  82. This is why hateful laws are no good ! Judge not lest you be judged !

    Posted on Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 1:50am
  83. Terrible!

    Posted on Sunday, February 16, 2014 at 2:47am