Nollywood star Yul Edochie condemns execution of gay men in Nigeria: ‘Gay people are human beings!’
Nollywood actor Yul Edochie took to Instagram to condemn the archaic sentence of death by stoning given to three gay men in Bauchi, Nigeria.
On 1 July, an Islamic sharia court sentenced three gay men – aged 20, 30 and 70 – to death by stoning. None of them had legal representation and they all “confessed” to their crimes.
They were sentenced under section 134 of the 2001 Bauchi State Penal Law that says: “Whoever commits the offence of sodomy shall be punished with death by stoning [rajim] or any other means decided by the state.”
Edochie slammed this sentence in an impassioned post on Instagram (7 July) and told his 2.2 million followers: “Stoning a man to death because he is Gay is wrong! Totally wrong! I am not Gay. I don’t plan to be. But Gay people are human beings too and should have rights.
“I heard the judgement was passed in Bauchi. How can you kill a human being because he is Gay. Condemn him if he engages in criminal activities. Condemn him if he’s a rapist. If not, leave judgement to God.”
Yul Edochie added: “How can you stone a human being to death because he’s gay?”
View this post on Instagram
His comments were flooded with people who agreed with him with one user saying, “I love you more for this ❤️🏳️🌈📌,” and, “Pure fact 😢 like why stone someone because he is gay.”
However other people didn’t agree and slammed Edochie for standing with the LGBTQ+ community. One person wrote: “Let me just log out and come later😢😢, it is becoming a nightmare coming online,” with another person saying: “Well taking a life is deep maybe jail sentence would have been good but all the same the rate of immorality is getting too much and certain lifestyle has to be curtailed.”
While Nigeria is a generally homophobic country, the north – which operates under sharia law – is particularly deadly for queer people.
Being gay in the secular parts of Nigeria can carry a maximum sentence of 14 years, but in the north death is highly likely.
2013 saw the passing in parliament of the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which criminalises all forms of same-sex unions and marriage equality across the nation.
Queer couples who get married are can be sentenced to 14 years in prison. People who attend a queer wedding are not safe either as they can get hit with 10 years in prison.
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