First men go on trial under Nigeria’s anti-homosexuality laws

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12/11/2019

Forty-seven men went on trial in Nigeria on Wednesday for public displays of affection with members of the same sex, an offence that carries a 10-year jail term in the country. The men were among 57 arrested in a police raid on a hotel in the impoverished Egbeda district of the commercial capital, Lagos, in 2018. They pleaded innocent at a hearing last month. Campaigners say the case is an important test of a law banning gay marriage and same-sex “amorous relationships”, which came into force five years ago. Xeenarh Mohammed, the executive director of the Lagos-based Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERS), said the law had historically been used to harass and blackmail gay people but there had not been any convictions.

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