Human Rights activists have cried out that dozens of gay men have fled while some have been arrested in northern Nigeria because of the draconian anti-gay law that makes same-sex marriage/relationship a crime .
According to them, the witch hunt in Bauchi State all began after a wild rumor circulated that the United States had paid gay activists $20 million to promote same-sex marriage in Nigeria.
First the police targeted the gay men, then tortured them into naming dozens of others who now are
being hunted down.
Dorothy Aken’Ova, whose organization is helping with legal services for the arrested men, also said a law enforcement officer pretending to be a gay man joined a group being counseled on AIDS. Police ended up detaining four gay men and then tortured them until they named others allegedly belonging to a gay organization, adding that police now have a list of 168 wanted gay men.
But Chairman Mustapha Baba Ilela of Bauchi state Shariah Commission, which oversees regulation of Islamic law, told the AP that 11 gay men — 10 Muslims and a non-Muslim — were arrested in the past two weeks. He however denied there was any force involved:
‘‘They have never been tortured, they have never been beaten, they have never been intimidated.’’He said community members helped ‘‘fish out’’ the suspects. Adding that all 11 arrested signed confessions that they belonged to a gay organization, but that some of them retracted the statements in court