Nigerian Activists Fear New Wave of Homophobia

Published: February 28, 2014

 ABUJA — Nigerian activists say anti-gay legislation passed this year has sparked mob violence, blackmail, homelessness and joblessness among gays across the country.  The legislation is somewhat different than the anti-homosexuality law adopted this week in Uganda, but activists say the suffering in their country is the same.

 
 Off the main road in the chaotic urban village, a dirt path leads to a single-room home where advocates of gay rights meet behind a closed metal door. 
 
 No one in this neighborhood knows who they are or what they do.
 
 The men described a raid in their neighborhood, where gay men were beaten and forced to leave their homes. 
 
“They were going from each gay man’s house.  Room to room.  House to house.  When they get to your room, they don’t knock.  What they do is they demolish the door if it’s not strong, they bring down the walls of the house.  They bring everything down is what they do,” said a victim.
 
“Did they do that to your place?”
 
 “They did that, yes!  My door was iron just like this.  So when you get to my house you will only see marks of the objects that they used.  They were like, ‘Come outside!  Come outside homosexual people.  Bastard!’ and everything,” he said.
 
 Nearby police did nothing to stop the mob, he said, and those that were not beaten fled their homes, leaving everything behind.  Two weeks later, one man said, he was still wearing the same clothes he had on when he left.
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