Menu

World

Dozens arrested in Nigeria for being gay, human rights activists say

1a017f90d8c4d301480f6a70670076f1.jpg

FILE - President Barack Obama meets with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in New York, in this Monday, Sept. 23, 2013 file photo. The Associated Press on Monday Jan. 13 2014 obtained a copy of the previously unannounced Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act that was signed by President Jonathan and dated Jan. 7 that bans same-sex marriage and criminalizes homosexual associations, societies and meetings, with penalties of up to 14 years in jail. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday the United States was "deeply concerned" by a law that "dangerously restricts freedom of assembly, association, and expression for all Nigerians." (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)The Associated Press

Human rights activists say dozens of gay men are being arrested in northern Nigeria.

They say such persecution will increase since President Goodluck Jonathan signed legislation banning same-sex marriage and criminalizing gay clubs and associations.

Dorothy Aken'Ova is executive director of Nigeria's International Center for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights. She said Tuesday the new law, already being dubbed the "Jail the Gays" law, will endanger and even criminalize programs fighting HIV-AIDS in the gay community.

She said police in Bauchi state have a list of 168 purportedly gay men, of whom 38 have been arrested recently.

Jonathan's spokesman confirmed Monday he signed the act providing penalties of up to 14 years in jail for same-sex marriage and up to 10 years' imprisonment for membership or encouragement of gay organizations.