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Nigerian Anti-Gay Bill Could Lead To a Gay Genocide
Monday, 19 March 2007 16:11
AtlanticFreePress - An anti-gay bill pending in the legislature of Nigeria could result in that country running afoul of international treaties which outlaw genocide, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the Gay Homeland Foundation.

Nigerian politicians and high officials of the Anglican Church in Nigeria pushing for the anti-gay Bill in their country might themselves become subject to international prosecution.

The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide characterizes genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about the group?s physical destruction, in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and/or,
(e) Forcible transfer of children of the group to another group."

"The proposed legislation, if implemented, will undoubtedly have catastrophic effects on Gay people in Nigeria," the Foundation?s statement says. "Gay people would be denied counselling, appropriate education on AIDS prevention, legal assistance and the right to associate with other Gay people. All these measures will unavoidably lead to increased HIV infection, isolation, depression and suicide, as well as widespread attacks on Gay people. As such, the Bill clearly violate the provisions outlined in Article II, sections (b) and (c) of the Convention. 

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The Convention prescribes that persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals. In short, the Convention does not recognize customary Executive Immunity of high-ranking officials in cases of genocide. In fact, in recent years several former Heads of State have been subject to international prosecution.

Furthermore, as Article III of the Convention makes clear, accomplished genocide shall be punishable along with conspiracy to commit genocide, accomplished or not. Direct and public incitement to commit genocide, attempt to commit genocide, and complicity in genocide are likewise punishable. Boosters of the Nigerian anti-gay Bill (such as Anglican Bishop Peter Akinola and Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo) therefore risk international prosecution.

We expect that United States, along with member states of the European Union and other signatories to the Convention, to take their obligations seriously and undertake efforts to effectively prevent genocide on our people in Nigeria," says the statement of the Gay Homeland Foundation. By signing the Convention, the governments agreed that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law. Should the pending Nigerian bill pass, we expect that those who conspire to commit genocide on Gay people will be captured, arrested and put on trial.

According to the Article VIII of the Convention, any contracting party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide.

The Gay Homeland Foundation appeals to the international community not to turn a blind eye to the ongoing preparations to exterminate Gay people in the most populous country in Africa.
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