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Four men, accused of being gay, whipped publicly in north Nigerian court

ASSOCIATED PRESS

LAGOS, Nigeria -- A human rights network says four young men convicted of having gay sex have been whipped publicly in an Islamic court in northern Nigeria.

Dorothy Aken'Ova of the Coalition for the Defense of Sexual Rights Network says the men will go to jail and face humiliation and beatings if rights organizations do not come up with an additional fine of 20,000 naira ($120) each meted out Thursday by a judge in Bauchi city.

She says the men, aged between 20 and 22, should not have been convicted because their confessions were forced by law agents who beat them. Gays can be sentenced to death under Islamic Shariah law in force in some northern Nigerian states.

The four men were among dozens arrested after Nigeria strengthened laws against homosexuals in January.

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