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They were held in police custody for four days, and released, without charge, after paying bribes ranging from 10,000-25,000 Naira (approximately US$32-64).

Lesbian and bisexual women in particular reported that fear of being perceived as “guilty by association” led them to avoid associating with other LGBT community members, increasing their isolation and, in some cases, eventually compelling them to marry an opposite-sex partner, have children, and conform to socially proscribed gender norms.When acts of violence are committed or condoned by officials or national authorities, including law enforcement officials, this leads to a climate of fear that fuels human rights violations and deters gay men and other MSM from seeking and adhering to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support services.The SSMPA contravenes basic tenets of the Nigerian Constitution, including respect for dignity and prohibition of torture.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.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.

The SSMPA contributes significantly to a climate of impunity for crimes committed against LGBT people, including physical and sexual violence.

LGBT victims of crime said the law inhibited them from reporting to authorities due to fear of exposure and arrest.

Three victims told Human Rights Watch that their attackers chanted: “We are doing [President Goodluck] Jonathan’s work: cleansing the community of gays.” Another victim said that the attackers also shouted: “Jungle justice! ” Arbitrary arrest and extortion by police is commonplace under the SSMPA.

Interviewees in Ibadan and other places told Human Rights Watch that they had been detained by the police multiple times since the passage of the SSMPA.

The law has become a tool being used by some police officers and members of the public to legitimize multiple human rights violations perpetrated against LGBT people.