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.
Boko Haram, the militant Islamist group responsible for the violent deaths of hundreds of Christians in Nigeria, has launched another lethal attack in the country’s Middle Belt.
Christians in Plateau state continue to suffer brutal violence
Last week Boko Haram fighters descended on twelve villages in Plateau state. Fleeing from the violence, local Christians took refuge in the house of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. The house was bombed and more than 50 people were burned alive, including the pastor’s wife and children.
Pastor Oritsejafor is president of the Christian Association of Nigeria and is seen by many of the country’s Christians as their symbolic leader. He had also denounced a previous bomb attack by Boko Haram on a church. He appears to have been targeted in this latest incident.
Boko Haram is committed to establishing an Islamic state in the mainly Muslim North of Nigeria and has made clear that Christians are not welcome there, issuing an ultimatum for them to leave and threatening to eradicate them from the region.
But it has also extended its campaign of terror into the Middle Belt, where the population is more evenly mixed between Muslims and Christians. On 10 June this year a bomber killed around 10 people in a church in Jos, capital of Plateau state.
- Boke Haram have murdered more than 600 Nigerians during the first six months of this year
- Nigeria Risks Becomming Another Sudan – where 2 million died after Khartoum declared war on its own people.
- Left for dead Nigerians outside a Catholic Church – murdered by Boko Haram
The redoubtable Caroline Cox recently returned from a fact finding visit, on behalf of her charity HART, to the beleaguered Christian communities of Nigeria. Baroness Cox visited Plateau, Bauchi and Kano States and said that “Christian communities are living in siege-like conditions” – with a recent spate of murderous attacks on churches while believers were gathered for Sunday services. Hundreds of lives have been lost.
Carnage and Destruction Left by Boko Haram
Latest evidence of aerial bombardment of Sudanese villages by Khartoum…
Government accused of double standards on Sudan – UK Politics – UK – The Independent http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/government-accused-of-double-standards-on-sudan-7922539.html
Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made representations about the case of
, the leading Sudanese women’s rights activist, who was arrested by the Sudanese National Intelligence Security Service on July 3rd and is being held at Omdurman Women’s Prison; whether they believe this to be retaliation for her role in leading a protest against the trial of Lubna Hussein, the young woman on trial for illegally wearing trousers; what assessment they have made of the routine use of torture at Omdurman Prison; and whether, when they participate in meetings to promote trade and business deals in Sudan, they will agree to alert participants of the treatment of Nahid Gabralla and other human rights campaigners detained in Sudanese prisons.