Boko Haram, the Killing of Christians and Terror In Nigeria – Now Government Targets Homosexuals
Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool
27 Jan 2014 : Column WA200
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that homosexuals in Nigeria have been tortured by the authorities to obtain the names of other homosexuals following the enactment of laws criminalising homosexuality in that country.[HL4711]
The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): We are aware of reports that, following the Presidential assent of the Same Sex Marriage Bill on 7 January 2014, a number of men were arrested in Nigeria, having been accused of homosexual activity. We are seeking further detail from the Nigerian authorities.
The UK opposes the criminalisation of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and opposes any discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. We believe the Same Sex Marriage Bill in Nigeria, which received the President’s assent on 7 January, infringes on the human rights of the Nigerian LGBT community and on the rights of expression and association which are guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution and by Nigeria’s international treaty obligations. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), made a statement on 15 January which highlighted our concerns, and the Under-Secretary of State for Justice, my hon. Friend the Member for Kenilworth and Southam (Jeremy Wright) raised this issue with Nigerian Ministers when he visited earlier this month.