A mob reportedly seized, stripped and beat three accused homosexuals in northern Nigeria on Jan. 14. Their current condition and whereabouts are unknown.
“Only the perpetrators and the community can tell the whole world what has become of these men who were seriously beaten up, stripped naked and paraded around the community bounded together like animals on allegation that they were caught having sex together,” said Steve Aborisade, coordinator of the AIDS-fighting group NigeriaHIVinfo.
The group urged the governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha, to intervene to rescue the men.
Aborisade said NigeriaHIVinfo “reliably confirmed and authenticated the incident and of the identity of one of the men,” CKN Nigeria reported. He said:
“While acknowledging that several Nigerians find the practice of homosexuality strange and unnatural, we also realize that it does not confer a license to trample on the rights of people who engages in it, with the sort of inhuman treatment that was meted out to these them.
“So many informed commentators, including Nobel Prize winner Prof Wole Soyinka, have commented on the scientifically proven fact that more than anything, gays are just victims of biology.”
Aborisade said the gruop had “reliably confirmed that the men were yet to be released from the location where they are being held in Umuka, Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State.” The reported incident occurred in Ekwe, near Umuka.
Aborisade said that sexual minorities deserve better treatment and better access to health care, not harassment and prosecution.
They “remain a high risk group to HIV/AIDS infection, yet it is a community that has been denied of all access to life saving HIV/AIDS services,” he said. “We suggest that our parliamentarians should devote equal energy at fishing out and punishing our treasury thieves who are doing more harm to the continued survival of our nation instead of dissipating energy on an issue that borders on private morality.
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