LGBTQ+ Nigerians fear violence after sharia court death sentence

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07/29/2022

By Pelumi Salako – ILORIN, Nigeria, July 18 (Openly) – A Nigerian sharia court’s decision to sentence three men to death by stoning for homosexual acts could trigger similar cases in the country’s states that apply Islamic law and unleash a wave of homophobic violence, LGBTQ+ rights groups said. Male same-sex relationships are punishable by up to 14 years in prison under Nigerian national law, but 12 states in the mainly Muslim north also use parallel sharia courts to punish residents for crimes ranging from adultery to blasphemy. Last month’s ruling in the northern state of Bauchi has raised fears of an increase in homophobia in Africa’s most populous nation, where many are already hostile towards LGBTQ+ people. “This sentencing opens the door for more draconian judgments against LGBTQ persons. It’s a call for violence,” William Rashidi, director of LGBTQ+ rights group Equality Triangle, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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