In the wake of Nigeria enacting a bill banning all gay associations and meetings, the country has seen dozens of anti-gay arrests, men being whipped as punishment for being gay, and vigilante violence against homosexuals in “gay hunts”.
Whilst Nigeria had already outlawed same-sex relationships, the conditions of imprisonment have become wider, and the punishment much harsher, since Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan passed amendments to existing laws in January 2014. When doing so he argued that the law is in line with the cultural and religious beliefs of the people of Nigeria.
During the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Nigeria at the 25th Session of the Council, IHEU representative, Kacem El Ghazzali highlighted the ways in which Nigeria’s actions are diametrically opposed to its obligations under international human rights law, asking “since when have national and cultural values been accepted by this Council as taking precedence over the universality of human rights?” He urged Nigeria to ensure the equality and freedom of all its citizens without discrimination.
The full statement is available to download.