The Pink Triangle Trust

News Release – 13 August 2010

UK Gay Humanist Charity Expresses “Shock and Outrage” at Brutal Attack on Nigerian Humanist’s Family

Kenilworth, 13 August 2010 — The UK gay humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust (PTT) has expressed its shock and outrage at a report it has received from the Nigerian humanist and human rights activist Mr Leo Igwe. The report concerns an attack on his home in which his father was brutally attacked and subsequently had to have his right eye removed. This is the most recent in a series of attacks which have followed Mr Igwe’s fearless human rights campaigns, including those in support of LGBT rights, and 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 unAfrican’.

“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 presentation 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.”

Andy Armitage, who maintains the PTT’s blog, said: “These issues must be raised with the Nigerian authorities at the highest level. They should be kept on the front burner of international relations and human rights advocacy until the Nigerian authorities take appropriate actions. The Nigerian government must be made to understand that the international community is aware of the facts of this case. And that the world is outraged at the way they are handling it.”

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.

Further information from George Broadhead on 01926 858450.
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Created : Saturday, 2010-08-14 / Last updated : Tuesday, 2010-09-21
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