Three gay men to be stoned to death in Nigeria

The men have a month to appeal the decision before it becomes final.

A man carries the flag of Nigeria over his shoulder and he walks down as street
Image: Photo by Emmanuel Ikwuegbu on Unsplash

Three men have been found guilty of homosexuality by an Islamic sharia court in Bauchi, Nigeria, and their sentence is that they shall be stoned to death.

The verdict was announced by the leader of the Hisbah religious police force, Adam Dan Kafi, on Friday, July 1, after all three men gave confessions. However, none of those convicted had any legal representation in the court that found them guilty.

The arrests were made in Nigeria on June 14, but the three men tragically due to be stoned to death have 30 days to appeal the decision starting from June 30 when the sentence was officially given. Although the men have already been charged and sentenced, the death penalty verdict passed in sharia courts must be approved by the state governor.

Bauchi, where the proceedings took place, subscribes to the Islamic legal system which sees death by stoning as the maximum penalty for homosexual activity. The same system is practised in eleven other Nigerian states including Zamfara, Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, Borno, Jigawa, Kebbi, Yobe, Kaduna, Niger and Gombe, where LGBTQ+ are subject to the same inhumane treatment should they be identified. Furthermore, the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act allows for LGBTQ+ people to be imprisoned for up to fourteen years should they violate the restrictions on gay relationships and public affection.

Meanwhile, in Iran, gay men are also being sentenced to death, with one man, Iman Safavi Rad, executed last Wednesday, June 29, in the Rajai Shahr Prison. He was charged with sodomy and is believed to be at least the third anti-LGBTQ+ execution in Iran this year.

While Article 234 of the Asian country’s penal code prescribes the death penalty as the punishment for sexual intercourse between men, executions such as these are largely concealed by authorities to “prevent international protests”, according to LGBTQ Nation. They also report that 88% of executions carried out in Iran are “silent executions”, kept largely hidden by Iranian judicial authorities. These executions are not exclusively of LGBTQ+ “criminals”, but they are among them.

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