Nigeria: Gay men receive 20 lashes in court

In Nigeria, four men received 20 lashes each as a punishment for being gay. The accused men were beaten in order to pressure them into confession. Along with the beating, the young men were also ordered to pay a fine of about $120 each. Earlier this year, another man received 20 lashes for the same act. Although the man received the lashing on a courthouse bench with a leather whip, people gathered in front of the court house demanded a death penalty.

“This draconian new law makes an already-bad situation much worse,” the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, said in a statement. “It purports to ban same-sex marriage ceremonies but in reality does much more,” she added. “Rarely have I seen a piece of legislation that in so few paragraphs directly violates so many basic, universal human rights.”

Living as an LGBT individual in Nigeria has proven very difficult as the President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill that criminalizes being gay or an ally to the LGBT community. Citizens of Nigeria experience fear and face heavy criminalization for being LGBT.