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Report of the Special Rapporteur on rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, A/HRC/26/29/Add.1, 10 June 2014: Nigeria

342. JAL 13/06/2013. Case no. NGA 4/2013. State reply. None to date.

Alleged restrictions on the rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly of group defending the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT).

343. JAL 13/01/2014. Case no. NGA 1/2014. State reply: None to date.

Alleged approval of the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill, 2011, by the Senate on 18 December 2013.

345. The Special Rapporteur deeply regrets the passing of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act in January 2014. He is concerned that this Act -which bans gay marriage and makes it an offence to register, operate, participate in or support gay clubs, societies, organizations, processions or meetings, or to make a public display of a same-sex amorous relationship, directly or indirectly- discriminate against the right to peacefully assemble and associate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity

346. The Special Rapporteur reminds the Government that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights acceded by Nigeria on 29 July 1993, guarantees the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In his thematic report to the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur stresses “that the Human Rights Committee has clarified that any limitations to rights protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, when permitted by the Covenant, may not be imposed for discriminatory purposes or applied in a discriminatory manner. Therefore, provisions restricting or prohibiting the right to freedom of association of a specific group on discriminatory grounds, such as sexual orientation or gender identity, is not permitted under the Covenant and must be reviewed with a view to repeal” (A/HRC/26/29, paragraph 64).

347. The Special Rapporteur calls upon the Government to put in place an enabling and safe environment allowing individuals to exercise their legitimate freedoms of peaceful assembly and association without undue hindrances. He reiterates the content of the operative paragraph 2 of the Human Rights Council Resolution 24/5 that “[r]eminds States of their obligation to respect and fully protect the rights of all individuals to assemble peacefully and associate freely, online as well as offline, including in the context of elections, and including persons espousing minority or dissenting views or beliefs, human rights defenders, trade unionists and others, including migrants, seeking to exercise or to promote these rights, and to take all necessary measures to ensure that any restrictions on the free exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are in accordance with their obligations under international human rights law.”

Link to full text of the report: Report-SRAssembly-Communications and replies-2014-eng-fra-esp

Link to Special Rapporteur’s correspondence with the State: