UNITED NATIONS (AP) U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he is alarmed by reports of the arrest and torture of individuals in northern Nigeria believed to be homosexual and strongly hopes that the constitutionality of the country's new anti-gay law will be reviewed.

The U.N. chief stressed that under the U.N. Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights every person is entitled "to enjoy the same basic rights and live a life of worth and dignity without discrimination," spokesman Martin Nesirky said Wednesday.

The secretary-general is offering U.N. assistance to promote a dialogue and change the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, Nesirky said.

The Nigerian law provides penalties of up to 14 years in jail for a gay marriage.