Several men in custody for homosexuality in Nigeria

Ten Nigerian men accused of homosexuality are in custody following a civilian-led manhunt.

The first man was arrested after being lured through in online chat room. He was then forced to reveal information about his close acquaintances.

The information obtained by officials led to the subsequent arrest of another nine men, CNN is reporting.

The hunt began last year when a Nigerian newspaper published an article detailing a local gay association, including a list of names. Police tried and failed to apprehend the men identified in the article.

Nigeria’s 168.8 million people are nearly half Muslim in the north and half Christian in the south. Both the religious populations adamantly appose homosexuality.

Following the initial effort to apprehend members of the gay association, police officials reached out to religious leaders for assistance.

Christian and Islamic leaders alike have preached in their churches and mosques against homosexuality, urging their members to report and apprehend homosexual individuals, the BBC reports.

Last month Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan passed a law that makes same-sex marriages, gay groups, and shows of same-sex public affection punishable by death.

In Nigeria these facing a death penalty can be stoned, pushed from a high place, or hanged.

The death sentence has yet to be carried out. Islamic law requires four witnesses to testify they saw a homosexual act being performed. However, those accused can still spend up to 14 years in prison.

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