The situation in Nigeria for its gay citizens continues to deteriorate. In early February, shortly after the African nation officially criminalized homosexuality, a suspected gay couple was forced to have sex in front of an angry mob. But late last week and over the weekend the violent mob rule intensified.
In Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, a mob of more than 50 people forced 14 suspected gay men to march through the streets naked last week. Once in the Gishiri neighborhood, the mob beat the men with nail-studded clubs, whips, iron bars and anything else that could be weaponized. Police joined the mob in beating the men, with one man nearly dying from the injuries he sustained.
“They all had weapons,” one witness said. “Some were having wires, whips. Some had broken furniture. They said they wanted to kill. They were moving around from one person’s house to another.”
Following the attack, the mob wrote “Homosexuals, pack and leave” on the homes of the men they assaulted.
Saturday night, a second mob went out on a mission to rid Nigeria of its LGBT people. ”We have been notified that 10 men, suspected to be gay, were rounded up and beaten last night in the town of Geshiri, near Abuja, by a mob of about 40 people,” International Gay And Lesbian Human Rights Commission Executive Director Jessica Stern reported. Five of the men were apparently detained by police before being released.
“The leaders are just watching, and now the Nigerian social fabric is being disintegrated by acts of mob violence,” said human rights activist Dorothy Aken’Ova about the mob attacks. “Now we have this new category as a result of the new law. And the government is quiet.”
Does the situation in Nigeria remind you of any other blemish on human history that’s occurred in the past 100 years?