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Three gay Nigerian men sentenced to death by stoning by Islamic court for homosexuality

A Sharia Court in Ningi handed down the sentence after hearing witness statements as well as the confessions of the men. File Photo.

A Sharia Court in Ningi handed down the sentence after hearing witness statements as well as the confessions of the men. File Photo.

Published Jul 7, 2022

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Cape Town - An Islamic sharia court in Nigeria's northern state of Bauchi has sentenced three men to death by stoning after convicting them on charges of engaging in homosexuality.

A leader of the religious police that arrested them confirmed the sentence.

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According to the Nigerian newspaper The Guardian, the men, aged 20, 30, and 70, were sentenced by Judge Munka’ilu Sabo Ningi under provision 134 of Bauchi State Penal Law of 2001 and Fiquhussunah Jizu’i number 2, local media report.

The men were detained by members of the Hisbah Vanguard in June.

The men, including a 70-year-old, all confessed to the crime even though they were not represented by lawyers, according to Reuters.

Any death penalty passed by sharia courts in Nigeria needs the approval of the state governor.

Nigeria criminalises same-sex sexual activity between men and between women. The gender expression of trans people is also criminalised.

According to the Human Dignity Trust, the laws criminalising ‘carnal knowledge against the order of nature’ and ‘gross indecency’ were inherited from the British during the colonial period, in which the English criminal law was imposed upon Nigeria.

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Nigeria retained these provisions upon independence and further criminalised LGBT people through the adoption of the SSMPA in 2013. At the state level, the northern states criminalise same-sex sexual activity through an interpretation of Sharia law.

Sentences include a maximum penalty of death by stoning. There is evidence of the law being enforced in recent years, and LGBTQIA+ people are regularly subjected to discrimination and violence.

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