U.K. rejects Nigerian man’s asylum bid

John Abraham
John Abraham (Photo courtesy of Gay Star News)

John Abraham, 25, of Nigeria was deported from the United Kingdom on March 16, despite his plea for asylum from attacks on gay men in Nigeria, the online African news service Behind the Mask reported.

His lawyers argued that he would face persecution and physical attacks in Nigeria because he is gay.

Abraham said British officials refused to believe that he is gay, Gay Star News reported.

His case had attracted support from LGBT rights groups in Europe.

Abraham had been in Britain since 2008, when he left Nigeria to study business administration.

Abraham had been held at the Coinbrook Immigration Removal Center near Heathrow Airport. He had initially been scheduled for deportation March 8.

Bisi Alimi, director for Africa of the international LGBT group Kaleidoscope, had urged British officials to approve Abraham’s bid for asylum.

“The situation in Nigeria is really bad,” he said.

“There is very strong, aggressive, hate coming from there. We get reports even now of gay people being the victims of police brutality and being harassed and abused by the community,” he said.

Current law in Nigeria provides for a 14-year prison sentence for homosexual acts. In northern Nigerian states where sharia law applies, gay sex is punishable by death.

The Nigerian senate has approved a bill that would make same-sex marriages illegal, punishable by up to 14 years in jail, with a sentence of up to 10 years for anyone helping at a gay marriage.


Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.


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