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152 violations of LGBTQI Nigerians' human rights in 2016

Repeated violations of the human rights of LGBTQI Nigerians continued in 2016, according to a new report from TIERS, The Initiative for Equal Rights.

Cover of TIERS report for 2016
Cover of TIERS report for 2016

The report, prepared in cooperation with many Nigerian human rights organizations, found:

  • 152 violations of human rights affecting 232 people between December 2015 and November 2016.
  • Violations including “blackmail and extortion, assault and battery, invasion of privacy, mob attacks, kidnap, rape and (attempted) murder.”
  • 37 perpetrators, including police officers, working for the government.
  • 107 perpetrators who were private citizens.

The number of reported violations was slightly lower than in the 2015 report, when 172 reported violations affected 282 people.

The report stated, “Although all Nigerian citizens find it difficult to ensure the promotion and protection of their rights and to access basic social services, members of LGBTQI communities face further challenges in addition to those faced by all Nigerians.”

That is caused to a large extent by the so-called “Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act” that took effect in 2014, along with other laws that make LGBTI activity a crime, the report said. It also cited ignorance of LGBTQI issues, religious fundamentalism, stereotypes and prejudice, which “make it unbearable for LGBTQI people to freely exist in Nigerian society,” despite a constitution and treaties that supposedly guarantee human rights for all.

The 67-page report is available for download. See in particular the “case studies” of many specific incidents of human rights violations, starting on Page 12/Page 17 of the report.

Summary of human rights violations in 2016.
Summary of human rights violations in 2016.

The report includes two pages of recommendations to the Nigerian government, police, National Human Rights Commission, and civil society organizations for specific actions that could curb human rights violations.

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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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