The lads, who say they’re harmless of the fees, appeared in courtroom on Thursday. They’re among the many group of 57 males arrested by the police in a raid on a lodge in Lagos in 2018.

Xeenarh Mohammed, government director of The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERS) in Lagos, the nongovernmental group representing the defendants, mentioned they had been at a birthday celebration when police invaded the institution and rounded up company.

“The taxi driver that was delivering a cake to the birthday celebration was detained. A person that was seeking to ebook a room on the lodge was additionally arrested. Every one among them has a novel story to inform about that day,” Mohammed informed CNN.

Opinion: Nigeria is a cold-blooded country for gay men -- I have the scars to prove it

The Nigeria Police Power, additionally the prosecutors, have now charged the lads with “public present of similar intercourse amorous relationship with one another in hidden locations” and declare the occasion was a homosexual initiation occasion. Mohammed mentioned the police additionally paraded them on tv which she mentioned had made them the topic of homophobic assaults after they had been launched final yr.

“Lots of them had been disowned by their households after they noticed them on TV. A dry cleaner amongst them misplaced shoppers that feared he might introduce their children to gay acts,” Mohammed mentioned.

Nigeria police spokesman Frank Mba informed CNN he wanted to collect extra data on the case earlier than giving a response.

Anti-gay sentiments

Nigeria’s anti-LGBT legal guidelines punishes same-sex relationships or associations with a most of a 14-year jail time period.
In northern states, the place Sharia Legal guidelines or Islamic legal guidelines, are enforced, people convicted of gay offenses might get the dying sentence, according to Human Rights Watch.
Nigerian police officer tells gays: Leave country or face prosecution
Final yr, a high-ranking police officer issued a warning to gay people dwelling within the nation to depart or danger prosecution.

“For those who’re homosexually inclined, Nigeria is just not a spot for you,” Chief Superintendent Dolapo Badmos wrote in a now-deleted publish on her Instagram web page.

Mohammed mentioned authorities have usually used the regulation to intimidate the LGBT group and other people of various sexual orientation.

“We’re dealing with instances of people that had been arrested as a result of they’d a sure coiffure or wearing a approach perceived to be homosexual, being pressured to pay bribes as a result of they’re threatened with 14 years in jail if they do not pay up,” Mohammad mentioned.

The case involving the 47 males has been postponed till February.

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