Extremely disturbing news from Nigeria on the fate of 18 men accused of attending an alleged cross-dressing party. Reports say a mob has stormed the prison in Bauchi in hopes to lynch the suspected gay men. AFP reports one prison official was injured in the violent confrontation:
The prison chief, Mohammed Nata'ala, was quoted by [stare news agency] NAN as saying the unnamed official was injured while preventing the mob from forcing their way into the prison late Friday."
The demonstrators were outraged said the charge against the men arrested were dropped from sodomy, "which carries the death penalty under the Islamic sharia code, to idleness.
Last week, riot police were forced to use tear gas to disperse protesters after a judge granted bail to the detainees. The mob also pelted the courthouse with stones. Five of the detainees posted bail and up to 13 remain behind bars.
Over the weekend in the Gay City News, international correspondent Doug Ireland quoted human rights activists in Bauchi, Nigeria who maintain "the young men were not wearing women's clothing at the time of their arrest" and "the marriage being celebrated at the hotel was a heterosexual one."
"This leads us to believe that the charges have been drummed up to incite hatred against gay people in the highly charged environment of our country," says Joseph Akoro, director of a Nigerian LGBT group.
More Nigerian news here.
Some Background ...
Nigeria Latest 18 Alleged Gays Face Death Penalty [R20]
Nigerian Woman Denies "Lesbian Wedding" [R20]
Nigerian Lesbian In Hiding After Reported Wedding [R20]
Nigeria's Homophobia Threatens Bid for Games [R20]
Nigeria One Step Closer to Outlawing Gays [R20]
Gay Nigerians Speak Out [R20]
Nigeria Prepares to Outlaw Gays [R20]
Nigeria to Ban Gays Meeting [R20]
Who is Archbishop Peter Akinola? [R20]
Nigeria's Islamic Sharia Law [R20]
UK Deports Gay Nigerian [R20]
Harsh New Nigerian Laws [R20]