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An Islamic court in northern Nigeria  ordered four men to be flogged with horsewhips after being found guilty of homosexuality. In addition to being flogged, the men, who are between the ages of 22 and 28, were fined 20,000 naira ($125)a after a secret trial at the Upper Sharia Court.

Each man received 15 lashes in front of everyone attending the court case.  According to reports, the  men were forced to lie on the floor of the court to be whipped on their backsides.

Court clerk Abdul Mohammed said the case was concluded behind closed doors for security reasons after an angry mob attacked the court when the men had first stood trial on January 23, demanding they be executed and forcing the hearing to be suspended.

“The four… on trial were sentenced to 15 strokes and fined 20,000 naira ($125) by the court and the sentence was immediately carried out,” Mohammed said.

“The court session was kept secret from the public and the judgment given and executed before the news filtered into the city,” he said.

There are currently three other pending cases and Mohammed said they would use a similar strategy.

Homosexuality is illegal in the West African country under both Islamic and secular law. Same-sex couples are forbidden to show any affection in the conservative country.

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