Gay Nigerian Sentenced to Death by Stoning
October 1, 2001
LAGOS, NigeriaA gay man in Nigeria has been sentenced to death by
stoning after it was alleged he had sex with an underage male, the
English-language Guardian newspaper reports.
The accused man, identified as Attahiru Umar, was turned in by his
neighbors and later arrested. Authorities say Umar "confessed his
crimes" to police, but human rights activists in Britain and elsewhere
suggest the confession may have been coerced.
The stoning sentence follows the introduction of Islamic Sharia law in some
states. Roman Catholic bishops in Nigeria recently warned the government that
the introduction of Islamic law violates the human rights of non-Muslims and
is a threat to peace in the country.
The BBC reports that at the end of a recent three-day session in Lagos, the
Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria issued a statement saying it would use
every legitimate means to prevent the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims.
It is not clear if Attahiru Umar is Muslim, though it appears unlikely the
Catholic bishops would intervene on his behalf given the nature of the charges
The death by stoning sentence must be upheld by a government committee,
though few think it will grant Umar a reprieve.
Earlier this month more than five-hundred people were killed during
fighting in the central Nigerian city of Jos, as clashes between Christians
and Muslims escalated into full scale riots.
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