In October 2004, shortly after Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo declared that the country had no homosexuals, Bisi Alimi, then 29, decided to come out of the closet on a nationally televised talk show. "Someone had to speak up and put a face to this, and let people know there are gay people in Nigeria," he says. His public disclosure immediately transformed him into a target: the first time he left his house, onlookers greeted him with homophobic slurs, and a group of teenagers surrounded him and started to kick. On April 9, 2007, he faced his most brutal reckoning yet. That night, a group of men burst into his house, blindfolded him and tied him to a chair before repeatedly punching him in the face. "Later I felt something pointed at my head and one of them said, 'Just pull the trigger and let's go,'" he remembers. "I thought that this was going to be the end of my life."
Despite the painful memories, Alimi counts himself among the lucky ones: his neighbor scared off the assailants, and he soon made his way to Britain where he received asylum.
But for the millions of gay men and women living in countries that still criminalize homosexuality, there is no escape from the fear and persecution that remains a part of daily life. More than a third of all countries have laws against consensual homosexual acts. Beyond limiting personal freedom judicially, these laws torment the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community socially by fostering an environment of intolerance. In Malaysia the law allows for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and flogging, while courts in Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and several other countries can punish offenders with a life sentence. Elsewhere the situation is even graver. Since 2009, Ugandan politicians have pushed for laws allowing death penalty in cases of "aggravated" (meaning repeated instances of) homosexuality. And on Sept. 3, Iran executed three men on charges that they were gay.
Complete article at Time : http://ti.me/nW1ygC