Twelve young men accused of planing a gay wedding have been arrested in the north Nigerian city of Kano, with one young man insisting it was his birthday party.
The Islamic law-enforcement agency, the Hisbah, had apparently cofirmed the arrests, according to reports from Agence France-Presse.
According to the report: "The suspects, most of them teenagers, were detained on Monday at a popular resort on the outskirts of the city."
Homosexuality is a crime under Nigerian law. Last year President Goodluck Jonathan signed new Anti-LGBT legislation, banning and criminalizing same-sex marriages and the promotion of civil unions.
AFP: "In northern states, where Sharia runs parallel to the state and federal justice system, homosexuality is punishable by death, although the sentence is rarely, if ever, enforced.
“We have 12 men in custody, including the bride. We arrested them at the venue of a planned gay wedding,” Daurawa told AFP, who informed that they were tipped off days before the wedding. Apparently many guests escaped the raid.
AFP further reported that one of the participants, 18-year-old Faruk Maiduguri, told reporters at the Hisbah offices that he and his friends were only celebrating his birthday and not a gay wedding.
Daurawa said the suspects, who came from Kano, the northern cities of Maiduguri, Kaduna and Bauchi, and Ibadan and Osogbo in the southwest, “looked and acted feminine”, which prompted their arrest." (AFP)
It is still being determined if charges will be made as families of the men are being informed. African HRC is currently in touch with sources in the area to obtain more information. Whether the young men are charged or not, their well being is endangered by the accusations and judgment of authorities, suggesting a perception of sexual orientation, based on the descriptions as to 'ooking and acting feminine.'