Nigerian Islamic court grants bail to male lovers

A Nigerian Islamic court granted bail on Wednesday to two alleged homosexuals who face the death penalty and whose case has once more drawn international attention to their country’s rights record.

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, who have all called for Nigeria to show tolerance towards homosexuals.—Sapa-AFP


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