The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has condemned Nigeria’s Parliament for passing a law that further criminalises homosexuality by punishing those who try to enter same-sex marriages.

Appearing on a BBC World news programme on Friday, Navi Pillay said: “I am very concerned that the rights of LGBT people… their sexual orientation rights are being violated; that they are being subjected to discrimination and I condemn this law of Nigeria because it violates the Equality Clause both of Nigerian law as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which speaks of equality for all.”

Citing Nigeria’s membership of several international human rights treaties on non-discrimination, Ms Pillay said: “Nigeria has signed many treaties; Nigeria has to report how it’s implementing and delivering on its obligations.”

She said Nigeria will be expected to tell the UN’s treating bodies “how it is addressing discrimination in various forms.”

Last month, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said he would be raising the decision of Nigeria’s Parliament to pass new anti-gay legislation in future discussions with the country’s leaders. 

Nigeria’s House of Representatives approved the bill in May.

Same-sex relationships are already illegal in Nigeria and the new law means gay couples entering into either marriage or cohabitation could face 14 years each in prison.

It remains unclear if President Goodluck Jonathan will sign the bill into law.