The United States has said that the Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community in Nigeria recorded increased harassments in 2020 with 482 cases of abuses and violence.
The US added that worse is the case in 12 northern states that adopted Sharia law where, adults convicted of engaging in same sex sexual conduct “may be subject to execution by stoning.”
The United States stated these in its human rights report on Nigeria, obtained by SaharaReporters on Wednesday.
The 47-page report is titled, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2020 United States Department of State from the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
It is otherwise referred to as the Nigeria 2020 Human Rights Report.
The report said, “A 2014 law effectively renders illegal all forms of activity supporting or promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) rights. According to the law, anyone convicted of entering into a same-sex marriage or civil union may be sentenced to up to 14 years’ imprisonment. The law also criminalises the public show of same-sex amorous affection.
“A 2016 Human Rights Watch report asserted police and members of the public used the law to legitimise human rights abuses against LGBTI persons, such as torture, sexual violence, arbitrary detention, extortion, and violations of due process rights.
“During the year (2020), LGBTI persons reported increased harassment, threats, discrimination, and incidents of violence against them based on their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity according to The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs). TIERs documented 482 human rights abuses based on real or perceived sexual orientation, gender expression, and sex characteristics between December 2019 and November.
“Of these cases, more than 20 percent involved state actors. Invasion of privacy, arbitrary arrest, and unlawful detention were the most common abuses perpetrated by law enforcement and other state actors. Blackmail, extortion, assault, and battery were the most common types of abuses perpetrated by nonstate actors.
“In the 12 northern states that adopted Sharia, adults convicted of engaging in same-sex sexual conduct may be subject to execution by stoning. Sharia courts did not impose such sentences during the year. In previous years, individuals convicted of same-sex sexual conduct were sentenced to lashing.”
The US report recalled that on October 27, 2020, a Federal High Court in Lagos struck out the charges against 47 men charged in 2018 with public displays of same-sex amorous affection for their attendance at a hotel party where police stated homosexual conduct took place.
“The presiding judge struck out the charges due to a 'lack of diligent prosecution' after the prosecuting counsel repeatedly failed to present witnesses or evidence for court proceedings among other concerns,” the report noted.