Africa – Nigeria – Uganda – Gays whipped – More Aid money removed

Sharia police, “Hisbah”, outside a Nigerian court. Undated: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

Four young men have been convicted of gay sex and whipped publicly by an Islamic court in Nigeria, according to Dorothy Aken’Ova of the Coalition for the Defence of Sexual Rights Network. They were caught in a wave of arrests when Nigeria strengthened its criminal penalties for homosexuality with the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, in January.

If human rights organisations do not come up with a fine of 20,000 naira (£72) each, the men could be whipped again – and imprisoned – for non payment of their fines.

Uganda: Sweden has suspended some of its financial aid to Uganda, becoming the fourth donor to do so. The others are the World Bank, Norway and Denmark, who have withheld or diverted aid totalling about $110m.

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UK – Policing – Justice – Set aside scheme flops

Legal Cheek

Campaigners are calling for a general pardon for gay men with historical convictions for consensual sex. The Home Office scheme to delete criminal records has so far led to just 40 cases being formally set aside. Officials approved less than 30 per cent of applications.

The main problem seems to be that most of the convictions that failed to be set aside were for cottaging, which was made a crime by the Labour Government in 2003, and because the behaviour is still a criminal activity, the Home Office cannot set historic cottaging offences aside. Which rather defeats the whole purpose of the policy, doesn’t it.

SP

Russia – Sochi – Transgender activist held

2008 Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Police in Sochi detained Vladimir Luxuria, pictured, a transgender former member of the Italian parliament, for holding a sign saying “Gay is OK” in an apparent violation of Russia’s “gay propaganda” law. Luxuria, a television host in Italy, was released after several hours, said Ivan Scalfarotto, the openly gay vice president of Italy’s Democratic Party.

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