Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Israel ramps up Gaza bombardment

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Prosecutor says captives were killed for organ harvesting in Kosovo

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

  • France evacuates its nationals from Libya

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

Africa

Nigerian president signs anti-gay law

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-01-13

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill into law on Monday criminalising same-sex relationships, despite pressure from Western governments to respect LGBT rights.

The law, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison if convicted, bans same-sex marriage and other “amorous relationships,” as well as LGBT organsations. Although it was passed by the country’s national assembly last May, Jonathan has delayed signing the bill until now.

It is far from the first time that Nigeria has weighed such legislation. Two similar bills have been floated over the past eight years, but both failed to make it through to parliament.

“Yes, Mr President had signed the bill into law, a statement will be issued on it within the week,” presidential spokesman Reuben Abati told the Reuters news agency.

Under existing Nigerian federal law, sodomy is punishable by jail, but this bill legislates for a much broader crackdown on gays and lesbians, who already live a largely underground existence.

While several European countries, most recently France, have moved to offer same-sex couples the same legal rights enjoyed by heterosexuals, many African countries are seeking to tighten laws against homosexuality.

Britain and some other Western countries have threatened to cut aid, a threat that has helped hold back or scupper such legislation in aid-dependent nations like Uganda and Malawi.

But they have little leverage over Nigeria, whose budget is funded by its 2-million-barrel-per-day oil output.

“Any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in prison,” the newly-signed law states.

The news provoked an outpouring of anti-gay invective on Twitter, but there were also some who questioned the priorities of the president, who is commonly referred to by his initials.

“I cannot believe GEJ took time to sign a bill into law jailing people for being gay. I don’t have any electricity, dude!” one post read.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-01-13

  • UGANDA

    Uganda passes tough new anti-homosexuality bill

    Read more

  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's highest court overturns gay marriage law

    Read more

  • INDIA

    Indian Supreme Court upholds homosexuality ban

    Read more

COMMENT(S)