Indian actor accused, Nigerian activist sues over arrest

News in brief:

  • Bollywood actor Aamir Khan faces an accusation in court that he promoted  homosexuality during a TV show in which he urged viewers to seek the repeal of India’s anti-gay law.
  • Nigerian activist Ifeanyi Orazulike is suing police for detaining him without charge shortly after a Nigerian court rejected a constitutional challenge to the country’s new anti-gay law.  Orazulike is executive director of International Center for Advocacy on the Rights to Health.

INDIA

Accusation — Seeking to change anti-gay law is illegal

The Daily News & Analysis newspaper reports from Chandigarh in northern India:

Aamir Khan (Photo courtesy of DNAIndia.com)
Aamir Khan (Photo courtesy of DNAIndia.com)

A court here has issued notice to Bollywood actor Aamir Khan seeking his response by December 19 on a petition alleging that he promoted homosexuality on his popular TV show “Satyamev Jayate.”

Admitting the petition by advocate Mandeep Kaur, the court of civil judge Jaswinder Singh [on Oct. 31] issued notice to Aamir Khan to file a reply by December 19.

In her petition, Kaur alleged that Aamir Khan’s conduct on his show “Satyamev Jayate” was a violation of the Supreme Court order on homosexuality. Through the petition, she sought the court’s intervention to declare Khan’s act a contempt of court.

The show, which was telecast on October 19 on a private channel, had discussed the lifestyle and rights of eunuchs and gays/lesbians, a matter on which the Supreme court had already given its judgement, she said. [Editor’s note: The Indian Supreme Court last year reinstated India’s anti-gay Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.]

Kaur alleged that the actor in his show had asked the public to vote for amendments in Section 377  …  The actor has been seen promoting Section 377 of the IPC in favour of rights of homosexuals, which was against the law of the land, the petitioner alleged. She alleged that the actor had promoted a criminal offence on television through his show.

NIGERIA

After raid, police face lawsuit by detained activist

The O-blog-dee blog reports on events in Abuja, Nigeria:

Ifeanyi Kelly Orazulike, executive director of the International Center for Advocacy on Rights to Health (Photo courtesy of VOAnews.com)
Ifeanyi Kelly Orazulike, executive director of the International Center for Advocacy on Rights to Health (Photo courtesy of VOAnews.com)

A well known Nigerian activist in the field of human rights and sexual health, who was detained without cause or charge by Nigerian police, is requesting an order of enforcement against two Nigerian Government agencies for violating his constitutional rights. The detention of the activist came mere hours after a Nigerian Court threw out a case seeking to squash the new Nigerian Anti-Homosexuality law,  The Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, known as the ‘Jail the Gays’ law.  The attorney who brought that case is now representing the activist.

Nigerian Ifeanyi Orazulike, the Executive Director of International Center for Advocacy on the Rights to Health (ICARH), as well as the Chairman of KAP, a Board member of AMSHR, Secretary of the Board of Global Forum on MSM and HIV (MSMGF), who was also a Fellow at the Human Rights Advocate Program (HRAP) at Columbia University in 2011,was arrested at 11.00 pm on the night of October 22nd at his office in Abuja, while celebrating his birthday together with 10 friends, well wishers and staff members.

Ifeanyi tells the story of the raid and his detention in an Affidavit attached to a motion filed in the Nigerian Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division, alleging he was arrested detained and dehumanized, without charge. The Motion was brought on October 24 by attorney Mike Enahoro Ebah, of Enahoro and Associates, based in Abuja, representing Ifeanyi, against The Inspector General of Police (1st Respondent)  and Abuja Environmental Protection Board ( 2nd Respondent.) …

In his affidavit Ifeanyi asserts:

“I saw men and women of the Nigeria Police Force, about fifteen (15) of them, armed with guns and what seem like bullet proof vest, maneuvered their way into the office premises, despite the fact that the gate was closed and manned by security staff. …

“I was told that they had come to arrest me on the instruction of the commissioner of police and nothing further was volunteered …”

Ifeanyi then goes on to tell how the police searched and wrecked the office, without a warrant and removed items which had been donated to the organization by USAID. …

He said that one of the police tried to solicit a bribe from him in exchange for his release. Ifeanyi refused and told the policeman he would rather go on to handle this in a court of law. His answer was met with a severe slap to the face, which knocked him to the ground. …

When the police realized he would not pay a bribe they released him.

Ebah, the attorney, who brought the earlier case to squash the ‘Jail the Gays law’, which was signed by President Goodluck Jonathan, earlier this year,  and which was struck by the Court on the very day of this incident, wonders if those targeting Ifeanyi  may have been empowered by the ruling of the Court earlier that day.

For more information, see the full article “Nigerian Human Rights Activist Brings Lawsuit After Unlawful Detention” in the O-blog-dee blog.

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 info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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