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Gay trials suspended in Nigeria over mob violence fears

Two Islamic courts in northern Nigeria have been forced to suspend the trials of 10 men accused of homosexuality because of fears of mob violence, judges and officials have said. An angry crowd last week pelted stones at seven men suspected of breaking Islamic law banning homosexuality after their hearing was adjourned at the Unguwar Jaki Upper Sharia Court in Bauchi. Police were forced to use teargas and fire shots in the air to disperse the mob, who were demanding summary trial and execution for the defendants.

Angry mob attack 'gay' suspects in Nigerian court

An angry mob attacked seven men suspected of breaking Islamic law banning homosexuality after a court hearing in northern Nigeria, a court official said on Thursday. "As soon as the suspects emerged from the courtroom to get into the waiting prison van, a crowd of people in their hundreds began hurling stones and insults," Abdul Mohammed told AFP. Mohammed, a clerk at the state Sharia court in Bauchi, said the seven men were among 12 being held on suspicion of breaking Islamic law concerning homosexuality.

Nigerian man whipped and fined for breaking gay laws

A 20-year-old Nigerian man was flogged in public and fined after being convicted of breaking Islamic law banning homosexuality, an official said on Friday. Mubarak Ibrahim received 20 lashes with a horse whip before a large crowd outside the Sharia court in the northern city of Bauchi on Thursday. "The court ordered that (he) be given 20 strokes and ordered him to pay a 5,000 naira ($30) fine," Alhassan Zakari, an official with the Bauchi state Sharia Commission, told AFP.

Nigerian man whipped and fined for breaking gay laws

A 20-year-old Nigerian man was flogged in public and fined after being convicted of breaking Islamic law banning homosexuality, an official said on Friday. Mubarak Ibrahim received 20 lashes with a horse whip before a large crowd outside the Sharia court in the northern city of Bauchi on Thursday. "The court ordered that (he) be given 20 strokes and ordered him to pay a 5,000 naira ($30) fine," Alhassan Zakari, an official with the Bauchi state Sharia Commission, told AFP.

Five charged with forming gay club in northern Nigeria

Five men have appeared in court in the northern Nigerian state of Bauchi for allegedly forming a gay club, a court official said on Wednesday. Abdul Mohammed, a clerk at the Bauchi state Upper Sharia (Islamic law) Court, told AFP that four of the men had pleaded guilty at a hearing on January 6, while the fifth denied the charge. "They were arraigned by the Bauchi state Sharia Commission... following an allegation that they had formed a gay club and received $150,000 from the United States," he said.

Indonesia sharia stronghold bans New Year's festivities

Islamic police in Indonesia's sharia stronghold seized thousands of firecrackers and cardboard trumpets after the city administration banned New Year's Eve celebrations for the first time, an official said Tuesday. The Monday night raid on street stalls and shops selling the items followed a fatwa, or decree, by the clerical Ulema Consultative Assembly that said New Year's celebrations or wishing someone "Merry Christmas" was "haram" (forbidden) in the city of Banda Aceh. The Banda Aceh government backed the fatwa by banning New Year's Eve celebrations in the city.

More than 1,000 couples marry in Nigeria mass wedding

More than 1,000 Muslim couples tied the knot at a mass wedding Thursday in Nigeria's second city of Kano, part of a government programme aimed at promoting stable families. The elaborate event at the city's central mosque included 1,111 previously divorced women and an equal number of men, many of whom had also been married before. The mass wedding programme was launched last year by the state government and sharia police, or Hisbah, who enforce Islamic law, in response to what officials have described as a divorce epidemic.

Nigeria sharia police smash 240,000 bottles of beer

Police enforcing Islamic law in Nigeria's city of Kano publicly destroyed some 240,000 bottles of beer on Wednesday, the latest move in a wider crackdown on behaviour deemed "immoral" in the area. The banned booze had been confiscated from trucks coming into the city in recent weeks, said officials from the Hisbah, the patrol tasked with enforcing the strict Islamic law, known as sharia. Kano's Hisbah chief Aminu Daurawa said at the bottle-breaking ceremony he had "the ardent hope this will bring an end to the consumption of such prohibited substances".

Islamic police in Nigeria's Kano launch immorality crackdown

Police who enforce Islamic law in Nigeria's northern city of Kano have arrested 150 people in the last week, including for indecent dress, as part of a crackdown on immorality, a spokesman said Tuesday. Some people in Nigeria's second city have been picked up for sporting hair styles inspired by prominent international football players, said Mohammed Yusuf Yola, spokesman for Kano's sharia police, or Hisbah.

Some 2 mn Muslims stone devil in final hajj ritual

Around two million Muslims converged on Mina, Saudi Arabia Tuesday to symbolically stone the devil, the final stage of the annual hajj pilgrimage that has so far gone off without incident. The occasion coincides with the first day of Eid al-Adha, the feast of sacrifice, which is celebrated by Muslims around the world. The numbers were sharply lower this year because quotas were reduced due to massive construction work to expand the Grand Mosque, Islam's holiest workship place, and fears over the deadly MERS coronavirus.
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