Home Editor's Pick Nigeria’s paramilitary raids birthday party, arrests 76 gay people

Nigeria’s paramilitary raids birthday party, arrests 76 gay people


On August 7, 2020, Nigerian police and paramilitary forces raided a birthday party in Lagos, Nigeria, arresting 76 people suspected of being gay. According to witnesses, the raid was conducted at a hotel in the city’s Surulere district, where the party was being held. During the raid, participants were reportedly subjected to homophobic abuse, and some were even beaten.

All 76 people were arrested and taken to the state criminal investigation department. According to the LGBT rights organization OutRights, the arrestees may face charges of public displays of affection between members of the same gender, as well as public nuisance charges. Persecution based on actual or imputed sexual orientation is illegal in Nigeria, and those found guilty of such acts face up to 10 years in prison.

The raid and subsequent arrests have been widely condemned by human rights groups, who argue that LGBT people in Nigeria are facing increased levels of harassment and violence, due to an increasingly hostile climate. They have urged the Nigerian authorities to drop all charges and release the arrested individuals immediately.

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