Silenced Voices, Threatened Lives: The Impact of Nigeria’s Anti-LGBTI Law on Freedom of Expression
Silenced Voices, Threatened Lives: The Impact of Nigeria’s Anti-LGBTI Law on Freedom of Expression uses potent and poignant individual testimonies by LGBTI Nigerians to demonstrate how the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act of 2014 has distorted Nigeria’s cultural and political landscape by silencing the country’s LGBTI community through state-sanctioned intimidation and marginalization. Drawing on interviews with local LGBTI authors, artists, activists, and their allies, the report details the cascading effects of a law that, while purporting to target same sex marriage, has infringed upon rights to free speech, access to health care, housing, and employment, interfered with civil and political rights, and led to wholesale impunity for violence against LGBTI people. The report documents the cases of writers unable to publish their books, poems, and stories, organizations forbidden from meeting, social media communities chilled by government infiltration, and rising incidents of blackmail and extortion directed at LGBTI individuals. The report showcases Nigeria’s at-risk literary and artistic traditions with works by prominent writers and artists from Nigeria’s LGBTI community and diaspora, including Unoma Azuah, Jude Dibia, and Adejoke Tugbiyele.
Katy Glenn Bass
Director, Free Expression Research & Policy