A crowd gathers outside the Unguwar Jaki Upper Sharia Court in the northern Nigerian city of Bauchi on January 22, during the trial of seven men suspected of being gay. Four of those men were found guilty and publicly whipped today. 
Nigerians Punished With Public Whipping for Gay Sex

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com March 06 2014 2:33 PM ET

Four men were publicly whipped as punishment for having gay sex, by order of an Islamic court in northern Nigeria.

In addition to 15 lashings, the men could be imprisoned for a year, if they are unable to pay a fine of 20,000 naira ($122 USD), the Associated Press reports.  

Dorothy Aken'Ova, of the Coalition for the Defense of Sexual Rights Network, said the men, ages 20-22, were forced to confess of their acts by law agents who beat them. She also said the men will likely face additional violence if sent to prison.

Their trial was postponed since January, when a crowd of people tried to stone the four men outside of the courthouse, while urging the judge to deliver a death sentence to them, according to the report.

The men were among dozens who have been arrested for violating the country's new law that prohibits acts of homosexuality.