Last edited: December 30, 2004

Gay Nigerian Sentenced to Death by Stoning

Datalounge, October 1, 2001

LAGOS, Nigeria—A 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 against him.

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.

[Home] [World] [Nigeria]