New anti-gay bill in Uganda; 25 reported arrests in Nigeria

Breaking news

Uganda’s new anti-gay bill

BuzzFeed reports that anti-gay legislators in Uganda have drafted a potential replacement for the overturned Anti-Homosexuality Act:

Nicholas Opiyo
Nicholas Opiyo

A committee comprising leading members of Uganda’s ruling party have prepared a new draft of legislation targeting LGBT people, according to Nicholas Opiyo, a human rights lawyer who obtained a leaked copy of the proposal.

The legislation would replace the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was struck down on technical grounds in August following a global outcry.

Opiyo, who is one of the lawyers for the legal team that successfully challenged the Anti-Homosexuality Act, said his sources “in cabinet and on the committee [working on the bill] have confirmed that this is the real draft bill” and that it has been sent to the office of President Yoweri Museveni and newly named Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda.

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni

The new bill, dated Oct. 29, is called the Prohibition of Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill of 2014. Opiyo said, “It appears even worse, even more draconian than the law” it is intended to replace by going into much greater detail about what activities are criminalized. …

The new proposal goes even further in prohibiting efforts to promote LGBT rights, and also includes a new section that make it a crime to provide “funding for purposes of promoting unnatural sexual practices,” which might be aimed at cutting off funding for human rights organizations promoting LGBT rights.

It’s unclear whether Museveni will block or accept the latest proposal. He has recently suggested that he wants to avoid further cutbacks in Western foreign aid on the basis of Uganda’s anti-gay laws.

For more information, see the full BuzzFeed article, “New Anti-LGBT Legislation Drafted In Uganda.”

Reports of arrests in Nigeria

Location of Kebbi State in northwest Nigeria. (Map courtesy of Wikipedia)
Location of Kebbi State in northwest Nigeria. (Map courtesy of Wikipedia)

Several online Nigerian news sites have reported claims by a vigilante leader in the Muslim north of the country, alleging that his group has arrested 25 homosexuals over the past year and turned them over to authorities for prosecution under sharia law.

Because of the nature of news coverage in that area, it is unlikely that his claims will be either verified or disproved.

Vigilante Group Of Nigeria Says It Has Arrested 25 Gays’ In Kebbi State (GhenGhen Hub)

The Kebbi State command of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria says it has arrested 25 men suspected to be homosexuals in the last one year.

This was disclosed by the Commander of the Vigilante group, Sanusi Ibrahim Geza, during a press briefing on Monday, November 3, 2014 at the first anniversary of his group.

Geza declined giving further details on how the arrests were made and how they got to know that the arrested suspects were homosexuals.

Also, he did not give details on legal proceedings against them, but said they had been handed in to the Hisbah Commission “for further action”.

The article was accompanied by an uncaptioned photo of several naked men in chains.

The Nigerian Tribune said that seven of those arrests occurred recently:

“Malam Sanusi Ibrahim Geza … told the BBC Hausa in an interview on Wednesday, that through their vigilance, they arrested 7 homosexuals in recent times and handed them over to the authorities.

“Some of them were flogged while others were taken to court to face other punitive measures,” he said.

The Trent (Nigeria’s Internet Newspaper) added more background in its article “Vigilante Group Of Nigeria Says It Has Arrested 25 Gays In Kebbi State”:

The Hisbah Commission is an implementation arm of Sharia, the Islamic legal code.

Kebbi is among the northern states practicing the Sharia law Nigeria, where the most severe penalty for homosexuality is death by stoning. Nobody is yet to pay the supreme price for his sexual orientation yet.

Daily Trust added the commander’s further claims:

He said 200 people were also arrested for theft while 150 others were arrested for drug abuse.

“Twenty people were also arrested for human trafficking and they have been handed over to the Immigration office for further action. For us to achieve any meaningful reduction in crime, we must collaborate with the other state security agencies,” he said.

Speaking earlier, deputy chairman, Board of Trustees of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Kebbi Command, Alhaji Saminu Turaki Masama, commended the efforts of the group.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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