23 Jan 2014

Anti-gay protesters disrupt Nigeria trial

7:10 pm on 23 January 2014

Security forces in northern Nigeria have fired in the air to disperse protesters calling for death sentences for seven men accused of belonging to gay organisations.

The man were being tried under Islamic or Sharia law in the northern city of Bauchi.

Several hundred protesters threw stones into the compound of the Sharia court. Due to the mayhem outside, proceedings were adjourned and security officials had to fire into the air to disperse the crowd so that the accused could be returned to prison, the BBC reports.

Last week in the same court, a man was given 20 lashes and a fine after being convicted of homosexual offences.

Although punishable by death under Islamic law, in the past those found guilty of such offences in Nigeria have instead been given jail terms.