Friday, February 23, 2007

Passage Imminent IV

The UN weighs in today: (via Monsters & Critics)

Four UN special rapporteurs on racism, violence against women, xenophobia and related intolerance said in a statement that the draft bill is 'an absolutely unjustified intrusion of individuals' right to privacy' and goes against the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

'We are apprehensive that, if adopted, the proposed law will make persons engaging in, or perceived engaging in, same-sex relationships in Nigeria more susceptible to arbitrary arrests, detention, torture and ill-treatment, and expose them even more to violence and attacks on their dignity,' the statement said.

And from Reuters:
The independent experts, most of whom report to the Human Rights Council, the U.N. watchdog on fundamental freedoms, said the legislation amounted to an 'absolutely unjustified intrusion' into an individual's right to privacy.

'(It would) contravene ... the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that 'all human beings are born equal in dignity and rights',' they said in a statement.

... 'The bill contains provisions that infringe freedoms of assembly and association and imply serious consequences for the excerise of the freedom of expression and opinion,' the envoys' statement said.
Sadly, such rights are viewed as unimportant in the face of the threat of Nigerian homosexuality (This Day, Lagos, February 20, 2007):
The only right the Nigerian homosexuals and lesbians have is their right to be taken to the hospitals (or Babalawos or Dibias for those of them who are professed atheists) for treatment. Those who are sick should not be going about advertising their sickness.
If you want to feel sick, read the rest of the Sonnie Ekwowusi's disheartening op-ed, an op-ed mercifully ignorant of the Nigerian Constitution. Nigerian democracy is in bad shape.

I had always hoped that conservative American Anglicans, especially highly placed ones like Bishop Minns, could have gently nudged the Church of Nigeria in the right direction. Instead, these Americans have shown themselves to be either complicit in the CofN's plans by their acquiescence or support, or utterly impotent in their objections.

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