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Nigerian men face
death by stoning for having gay sex

Nigerian men face
death by stoning for having gay sex

An Islamic court in Nigeria granted bail on Wednesday to two men accused of having gay sex, considered illegal in Nigeria. The men, whose case has once more drawn international attention to their country's human rights record, face the death penalty, according to Agence France-Presse.

Judge Mustapha Sani Saulawa of the Upper Sharia Court in the northern city of Katsina allowed the defendants, 40-year-old Yusuf Kabir and 18-year-old Usman Sani, to go free until the next hearing on August 24. The pair were arrested by police in June after witnesses alleged that they had been having sex in a public toilet. Sodomy is punishable by stoning to death under northern Nigeria's interpretation of Islamic Sharia law. "The prosecution has not brought its witnesses before this court today; I therefore grant bail to you both on the condition that each of you bring adults to stand as sureties," Saulawa told the court.

The case has attracted the attention of gay rights lobbyists in France, Democratic lawmakers in the United States, and a senior United Nations envoy, all of whom have called for Nigeria to show tolerance toward gays.

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