Nigerian Islamic court imposes 10 lashes for cross-dressing

A Sharia court in northern Nigeria has sentenced eight men to ten lashes for cross-dressing, an act contrary to Islamic law, according to court documents.
The court in Kano, the largest city in northern Nigeria, also sentenced the men on Tuesday to three months in prison, unless they pay 10,000 naira (13 US dollars).
The defendants were arrested at a wedding while dressed in women’s clothing “teasingly dancing” among members of the opposite sex, which is considered immoral by Islamic norms and culture. The men pleaded guilty and asked for leniency from Judge Tamim Sani Hausawa.
Kano State is one of twelve predominantly Muslim states in the north of the country where Sharia law applies alongside ordinary law. The court is located at the headquarters of the Kano Sharia police. This police force is notorious for raiding brothels, bars and wedding parties where men and women mix, and for destroying beer after seizing deliveries entering the city. This is the second conviction for transvestism in this northern city since 2004, when a young transvestite was sentenced to a year in prison for living disguised as a woman among women. Cross-dressing is an offence under Kano’s 2000 law on prostitution or immoral acts, punishable by a year’s imprisonment or a fine of 10,000 naira.