Nigeria: Discriminatory Laws Facilitate Harassment

In Nigeria, TrialWatch monitored the first case to be tried under the country’s draconian ‘Same Sex Marriage Prevention Act,’ which criminalizes direct or indirect “public show[s] of same sex amorous relationship[s]” with up to ten years imprisonment. While the case, brought against 47 men arrested at a hotel bar, was eventually struck out, TrialWatch reporting exposed its abusive nature.

Several defendants said they were mistreated in custody, and others were forcibly ‘outed’ by being paraded in public by the authorities. And despite being given numerous opportunities by the court, the prosecution produced no relevant evidence. Even though the case was ultimately dismissed, the defendants suffered serious consequences, including loss of their jobs, estrangement from their families, stigmatization, physical violence, and legal fees.

This case starkly highlights the need to repeal the Same Sex Marriage Prevention Act and to cease harassment of LGBTQ individuals in Nigeria.

TrialWatch Report