UN says Nigeria's 'Jail All the Gays Bill' breaks international law

Published: July 1, 2013

IN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay has condemned Nigeria’s new law, designed to round up and imprison all gay people in the country. She said the bill violates Nigeria’s own equality legislation and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The ‘Jail All the Gays Bill’ has been passed by the Senate and House of Representatives and is just awaiting signature from President Goodluck Jonathan. LGBT activists have said the politicians passed the measure in part because they, and Jonathan, want to detract from serious problems in the country. If it becomes law, openly gay people would be imprisoned whether or not they have sex. A clause designed to round-up gays and lesbians states anyone who knows somebody who is gay will have to tell the authorities or risk five years jail. Any same-sex couple who got married would be punished by up to 14 years prison and 10 for anyone else involved in the ceremony. Even wedding guests could be jailed. And ‘any person who directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationships’ would also get a 10 year sentence. But Pillay, speaking on the BBC, said: ‘I am very concerned that the rights of LGBT people, the sexual orientation rights, are being violated, that they are subjected to discrimination.

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