Nigeria continued its human rights offenses against its gay population this month when twenty-one male students in the country's state of Asaba were arrested for allegedly being involved in same-gender sexual activity.

The anti-gay African nation's conservative newspaper Punch is claiming that the schools where the male students were arrested "were a beehive of perverse sexual acts as male students engage in same sex activities for financial gains."

According to Punch, Celestina Kalu, a Police Public Relations Officer in the state, confirmed the arrest of the suspects, saying the police acted on a tipoff. "We had it on good authority that the male students allegedly engaged in anal sex," Kalu said. "The suspects, upon interrogation, made useful statements to the police while investigations are ongoing."

Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is a crime in Nigeria. The punishment in southern states like Asaba for gay sex can go as high as 14 years imprisonment. In twelve largely muslim northern Nigerian states that adopted Shari'a law, the punishment is death by stoning.

In 2014, a controversial anti-homosexuality law dubbed by the media as the "Jail the Gays" bill was signed by then Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan. The law, which criminalizes operating and taking part in gay organizations, also makes public displays of same-sex relationship an offense punishable up to 10 years in prison.

H/T Gay Star News