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Lesbians and gay men interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that the law has had an insidious effect on individual self-expression.
Since January 2014, several said that they had adopted self-censoring behavior by significantly and consciously altering their gender presentation to avoid detection or suspicion by members of the public and to avoid arrest and extortion.
Basically, because of this law [SSMPA] the police treat people in any way that they please.
They torture, force people to confess, and when they hear about a gathering of men, they just head over to make arrests.
The SSMPA contravenes basic tenets of the Nigerian Constitution, including respect for dignity and prohibition of torture.
Human Rights Watch interviewed eight of the 21 young men who were arrested, but not charged, at a birthday party in Ibadan.
They told Human Rights Watch that members of the public informed the police that gay men were gathered together and when police arrived and found a bag of condoms that belonged to an HIV peer educator, they were all arrested.
Interviewees, including representatives of mainstream human rights organizations, said the SSMPA has created opportunities for people to act out their homophobia with brutality and without fear of legal consequences.
Under the auspices of the SSMPA, police have raided the offices of NGOs that provide legal and HIV services to LGBT communities.
-Executive Director of an Abuja NGO, October 2015 Vigilante groups have added homosexuality to their “terms of reference.” These groups are organized by community members, given authorization by the community to maintain some sort of order and “security.” -Executive Director of a Minna, Niger State NGO, October 2015 On January 7, 2014, Nigeria’s former president, Goodluck Jonathan, signed the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill (SSMPA) into law.