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Thursday, 2 September 2010

Intergroup on LGBT Rights takes up Igwe case

The UK gay Humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) – this blog’s owner – has warmly welcomed the news that the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights has taken up the case of Leo Igwe, the Nigerian Humanist and gay-rights campaigner, who has been subjected to horrendous persecution in this religion-dominated country.

Igwe, who is the executive secretary of the Nigerian Humanist Association, and members of his family have been subjected to a sustained campaign of harassment by police, involving multiple arrests on unsubstantiated charges, since 2007.

The Intergroup has taken action after an appeal to its president, Michael Cashman MEP, from the PTT’s secretary, George Broadhead, who pointed out what a stalwart campaigner Igwe is for LGBT rights in Nigeria.

Broadhead said, “In 2006 Mr Igwe 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’.

“The International Humanist and Ethical union, of which the PTT is a member, has made a vigorous protest to the Nigerian President about the appalling treatment of Mr Igwe, and it is very good to learn that the European Parliament’s Intergroup has protested to the Nigerian High Commissioner and Ambassador to the European Union. We hope that Mr Igwe will be heartened by this news,” Broadhead added.
Update: See comments for a clarification on this. The LGBT Intergroup may be taking up the case. Certainly, it’s been informed of the situation.


LGBT Intergroup said...

By means of clarification, the Intergroup has been informed of Leo Igwe's situation, and is considering making representations to the Nigerian authorities.

Yet, no action was taken so far.

Andy Armitage said...

Thanks for the clarification, Intergroup.