Nigerian Homes Raided to 'Cleanse' Neighborhood of Gays

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com February 15 2014 1:12 PM ET

A mob in Nigeria's capital Abuja raided multiple homes and dragged 14 men out of their beds in the middle of the night to beat them with the goal of "cleansing" their neighborhood of gay people, the Associated Press reports.

Four of the men who were attacked were also taken to a police station, where police officers beat them, and then told them that they would be incarcerated for 14 years under Nigeria's "Jail The Gays" law. That law punishes those who are in same-sex marriages with time in jail. It also criminalizes meetings where anyone advocates for LGBT people.

The four men were eventually released because there was no evidence that they are gay, and they were not engaged in any sexual act at the time of the raid.

The homes where the men lived were also spray painted with the words "Homosexuals, pack and leave."

"Since the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act was signed, we have expressed concern as a friend of Nigeria that it might be used by some to justify violence against Nigerians based on their sexual orientation," the U.S. Embassy said in a statement Friday. "Recent attacks in Abuja deepen our concern on this front."