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76 Arrested in Nigeria for Attending Gay Birthday Party

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Reuters that the agency raided a party on Saturday that was being attended by “homosexuals and pimps.”Fifty-nine men were arrested, including 21 who confessed to being homosexual, and 17 women.The Gombe NSCDC also claimed that the organizer of the birthday party had planned to wed another man, who remains at large, before police raided the event.Under Nigerian law, sex acts between people of the same-sex are illegal and carry a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail.

Those who attempt to enter same-sex unions can also be sentenced to 14 years in jail, while others who “witness, abet, and aid the solemnization of a same-sex marriage or union” may serve up to 10 years in jail.

The law punishes attempts to engage in same-sex activity with seven years in jail, while acts of “gross indecency” between males, whether in public or private, are punishable by three years in jail.The law also prohibits membership in LGBTQ rights groups.In northern Nigerian states, those who engage in “carnal intercourse against the order of nature can be jailed for up to 14 years, and cross-dressing can be penalized with up to a year in jail and a fine.Additionally, 12 Muslim-majority northern states have adopted some form of Shari’a law into their criminal statutes, for which the penalty is death by stoning.The arrests at the birthday party follow an August raid of a gay wedding in the Southern city of Warri, in Delta state.Initially, 200 people were arrested, with 67 detained for further questioning for allegedly trying to facilitate a same-sex wedding.

The accused are out on bail and are currently awaiting trial. The arrests at that wedding led some local D.C. area Black lawmakers to protest the Nigerian government’s raid and denounce the country’s efforts to crack down on LGBTQ rights.The country’s 2014 law imposing harsh sentences for same-sex activity or advocacy has led to several mass arrests in recent years.

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