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Rally to demand repeal of Nigeria’s anti-LGBTI laws
Stand in solidarity with Nigerian LGBTI people next Wednesday
Wednesday 30 September, 1-2pm.
Rally outside the Nigerian High Commission, 9 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5BX (nearest tube stations Charing Cross and Embankment).
Put pressure on the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to uphold LGBTI human rights. We’ll hand in a petition with over 65,000 signatures, urging the repeal of all Nigeria’s anti-LGBT laws.
Let’s make it a rainbow event! Bring your banners, balloons and flags.
Sign up to the Facebook event page:
You can also sign the petition here: http://goo.gl/anNfCd
This rally is organised by Nigerian lesbian activist Aderonke Apata, with the support of the African LGBTI organisations, African Ranbow Family, Out and Proud Diamond Group, and the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
“Since the insidious 2014 anti-LGBTI law was passed in Nigeria, there have been waves of police arrests and torture, anti-LGBTI mob attacks, public whippings, evictions from homes, harassment and discrimination against ‘suspected’ LGBTIs. Equality advocacy organisations and activists in Nigeria are not spared mistreatment,” said Aderonke Apata.
“Growing up in Nigeria, I was unable to disclose my sexuality, yet unable to hide it. The culture in Nigeria makes it clear that being gay or transgender is a sin, a sentiment that is fuelled by homophobic messages from faith communities, political leaders, families, and schools. I took these messages in, identified with them, and carried the shame of being a lesbian woman in Nigeria. I was arrested, tortured and extorted by the Nigerian Police. I demand a repeal of this toxic law,” she said.
“Under a nineteenth century law imposed by the British colonial administration, male homosexuality is punishable in Nigeria by a sentence of 14 years imprisonment,” added Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
“More recently, a draconian new anti-LGBTI law – the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill – was signed into law in January 2014. It is one of the harshest and most punitive of the many laws in nearly 80 countries that criminalise Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people.
“This draconian anti-LGBTI law prohibits same-sex marriage with a penalty of up to 14 years in prison. It also stipulates10 years jail for public displays of same-sex affection and 10 years for membership or support of LGBTI equality and advocacy groups.
“These two repressive laws are a toxic abuse of the human rights of Nigerian LGBTI people. They violate the non-discrimination clause (Article 42) of the Nigerian Constitution, Articles 2 and 3 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, and the equality provisions of the Commonwealth Charter, to which Nigeria is a signatory and which the country has pledged to uphold and respect,” said Mr Tatchell.
Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation
0207 403 1790
African Rainbow Family 07711285567
Does President Buhari Prefer The Terrorists – Boko Haram?!
The newly elected president of the most populous nation in Africa, president Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has accepted the continuous onslaughts of his country’s citizens as opposed to promoting freedom, equality and the human rights of the LGBTIQ minority of Nigeria.
During Buhari’s visit to the US last week between Sunday, July 19 and Wednesday, July 22; the need to repeal Nigerian Anti Gay law as contained in an open letter to President Obama requesting that he intervenes and pressures Buhari to repeal the Nigerian Same-sex marriage prohibition law was raised. Unfortunately he rejected to do so; this leads to missing a milestone which would have been a huge landmark in equality and human rights for all Nigerians and indeed the whole of Africa.
The Washington visit was meant to discuss the U.S government supports for Nigeria. President Obama was said to have told Buhari that: “The destiny of the continent was tied to Nigeria’s, he said, pledging that America would continue to support, as long as Nigeria does the right things”.
It beggars good reasoning and the worth of humanity what the priorities for Nigerians are from their newly elected president!
“A president who prefers the continuous maiming, mass massacre, torture, displacement and gruesome raping of his country’s citizens to LOVE needs to reconsider his or her position in my view” says Aderonke Apata, founder of African Rainbow Family.
Fair enough president Buhari has shown his commitment to combat and rid Nigeria of her number one spiral historic endemic ‘disease’ – bribery and corruption. He also promised to retrieve Nigerian looted money starched away in foreign countries. This is a welcome move and hopefully he achieves it.
However, it’s beyond imagination that the rights of ordinary harmless minority group in Nigeria who only shows love towards each other in consensual relationships could be traded off for the daily mayhem caused by Boko Haram. Read about the February 2015 Africa Rainbow Family’s candle lit vigil in solidarity with victims of Boko Haram massacre in Baga here.
Other benefits for Nigeria’s advancement were also rejected by her custodian all in the name of culture and religion.
We call on president Buhari to take a better inward reconsideration of his stand and move away from being ‘cowed’ by the so called religious leaders who only care about themselves under the pretence of upholding God’s commandments.
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27th July 2015.
Exactly seven days before Valentine’s Day, central Manchester was occupied by activists marching in solidarity with the victims of Boko Haram’s heinous January attacks. Not only did the vigil – organised by self-funded collective African Rainbow Family (ARF) – condemn the attacks, but it raised the alarm against the lack of mainstream media coverage. With people from various backgrounds, ethnicities, ages and faiths, up to 60 activists gathered in Piccadilly Gardens, having walked from St Peters Square via Market Street where the march commenced.
Echoing the reverberation of the megaphone’s “I Am Baga Too” and “Black Lives Matter Too”, the protesters peacefully marched with lit candles and placards denoting the value of all human life, regardless of background or social standing.
Despite the outbreak of news interest in the initial kidnappings of 200 schoolgirls in March 2014 – including a social media hashtag campaign that even Michelle Obama took part in – little-to-no light has been shone over Boko Haram’s further spate of abductions of women and recent bombing of an estimated 2,000 civilian lives.
The rally’s aim was to raise awareness of those neglected by mainstream media and to provoke “a national debate with western and African leaders” driven towards active change rather than lip-service, founder of ARF Aderonke Apata told TNT.
RF is the group behind last December’s march along Portland Street, Manchester. The convention saw hundreds of activists protesting against institutionalised injustices such as that which happened to the late Mike Brown from Ferguson, Missouri USA.
“Going forward, we want to see more communication between activist groups and volunteers. We want to connect with each other as we are more powerful together. Ultimately we want community voices to be heard,” one of the co-organisers said.
Terrorist militant group, Boko Haram, has taken over the Baga town of north-east Nigeria. It continues its monstrous crimes against thousands of innocent women and children. Activists feel there is no other option but to take to the streets in protest, rather than mirror the meek and passive reaction of mainstream media. The next public meeting has been provisionally booked according to ARF group; however, the date will be confirmed soon. In the meantime, we should all continue to let the appalling silence burst away from us. More details of the news coverage of the vigil can be found here.