July 20, 2024

Nigeria police arrest 67 at same-sex wedding

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Police in Nigeria arrested over 67 suspects for attending a same-sex wedding in Ekpan, a Delta State town.

The police raided the wedding venue on Monday and rounded up the two grooms, along with guests. Authorities also paraded the defendants before the media and said the accused would be made to face the law.

Delta State Police said they received information about Monday’s wedding after officers on routine patrol Sunday randomly stopped one of the invited guests and interrogated him. It was not clear if he was stopped based on what he was wearing.

“We already have the remand warrant from the court to still have them in custody because we still have more evidence to bring up together,” Bright Edafe, the Delta state police spokesman, told VOA by phone, “but by the end of this week, they’ll be charged to court.”.

The latest arrests come five years after police raided a hotel in Lagos and arrested 57 men for homosexuality. But criticism has been growing following the latest incident. Rights group Amnesty International condemned the arrests in a statement on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, and asked authorities to “put an immediate end to this witch hunt.”

However, Edafe said police recovered materials, including hard drugs and gay marriage ceremonial dresses, during the raid. If convicted, the defendants face 14 years’ imprisonment, according to an anti-homosexuality law that went into effect in 2014. Police said others accused in the case will be jailed for 10 years if convicted.

In conclusion, the group said that the arrests discriminated based on perceived sexual orientation and gender identity and that Nigeria’s law was being increasingly used by officers to harass, blackmail, and extort victims.

written by @enock katamba

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