The UK gay Humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (this blog’s parent organisation) has expressed its shock and outrage at a report it has received from the Nigerian Humanist and human-rights activist Leo Igwe. The report – which we blogged last Friday – concerns an attack on his home in which his father was brutally attacked and after which he subsequently had to have his right eye removed.
This, says the Trust in a news release, is the most recent in a series of attacks that have followed Igwe’s fearless human-rights campaigns, including those in support of LGBT rights, which the state authorities have done little or nothing to address.
PTT secretary George Broadhead said, “Mr Igwe, who is the executive secretary of the Nigerian Humanist Movement, has demonstrated his staunch support for LGBT rights.
“In 2006 he made an impassioned appeal to members of the Nigerian National Assembly not to pass a Bill that would not only criminalise gay marriage but also impose a five-year jail sentence on anyone who has a gay relationship or anyone who aids or supports a gay marriage or relationship. The Bill had the blessing of the Nigerian Anglican Church and its leader, Archbishop Peter Akinola, as well as the then Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who declared that homosexual practice ‘is clearly unbiblical, unnatural and definitely un-African’.
“In May this year Mr Igwe was presented with the Rainbow Humanist Award by Nordic Rainbow Humanists for his ‘courageous defence of LGBT rights and dignity in the face of ferocious attacks from homophobic Nigerian politicians, parliamentarians and religious leaders calling for the imprisonment of those having homosexual relations and those who dare to support such relations, and for reminding fellow countrymen and -women in Nigeria of the need to safeguard the spirit of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the need for reason, common sense, thoughtfulness, knowledge, love, tolerance, solidarity and empathy, instead of hate and homophobia’. The presention took place at an event in London to mark the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO).
“This latest brutal attack on Mr Igwe’s family and the grave injury to his father is shocking and outrageous and we are very concerned about Mr Igwe’s own safety,” Broadhead added.
The PTT has sent a letter of protest to the Nigerian High Commissioner in the UK, Dr Dalhatu Sarki Tafida, and asked the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights to issue a public condemnation.