Posts Tagged 'Cameroon'

Processing the Murder of Eric Ohena Lembembe

Eric Ohena Lembembe

Photo: Erasing 76 Crimes

Repost from The Daily Beast

An outspoken voice for gay rights was tortured and killed in Cameroon. Neela Ghoshal on her colleague Eric Lembembe’s legacy—and how the movement lives on.

Eric Ohena Lembembe didn’t turn up to a meeting he had organized. Members of Camfaids—a group that defends the rights of LGBT people and those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS—went to his house Monday evening after failing to reach him by phone all weekend. They found the door padlocked from the outside; through a window, they could see Lembembe’s body on the bed. When the police broke the door down, they found that Lembembe’s body bore signs of torture. His neck and his feet were broken, a friend told me. His face, hands, and feet had been burned with a clothes iron.

I had last seen Lembembe in March, on a sticky, humid evening in Yaoundé. We had released a joint report on human-rights abuses against people accused of homosexual conduct in Cameroon two days earlier. The head of the gendarmerie—Cameroon’s military police—had finally agreed to meet with us. We wanted to raise the many cases we had documented of arbitrary arrests, ill treatment, and torture of people alleged to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Continue Reading

Related Content: 

Prominent gay rights activist killed in Cameroon (AP)

Statement from the U.S. Department of State on the Murder of Cameroonian LGBT and AIDS Activist Eric Ohena Lembembe

Cameroon ‘gay sex’ men acquitted

From BBC News

An appeal court in Cameroon has acquitted two men jailed in 2011 for homosexual acts, their lawyer has said.

Alice Nkom said she was pleased with the decision because the judge who convicted them was influenced by “stereotypes”.

He had stated “the way the men dressed… spoke and the fact that they drank Bailey’s Irish Cream proved they were gay”, Ms Nkom said.

Homosexual acts are illegal in the central African nation.

In November 2011, a court sentenced the two men to five years in prison after police arrested them for allegedly having oral sex in a car in the capital, Yaounde.

They denied the charge.

The Court of Appeals overturned their conviction on Monday, saying they were not guilty, Ms Nkom said.

International gay rights campaign group All Out said it welcomed the ruling.

“This case demonstrates that when courts rely on law and fairness instead of bias and stereotypes, justice is possible,” said Andre Banks, the group’s executive director.

“And while we celebrate…. we renew the call for President Paul Biya to release all other prisoners who have been prosecuted for allegedly being gay or lesbian under Cameroon’s unfair anti-gay law.”

Last month, the Court of Appeals upheld the sentencing to five years in prison of another Cameroonian, Roger Jean-Claude Mbede, under anti-gay legislation.

Related Article: Court Overturns 5-year Sentence for Gay-Sex in Cameroon

Cameroonian men detained for “homosexuality”

Action Alert Amnesty InternationalRepost from Amnesty International

15 August 2011

The Cameroonian authorities must immediately release two young men due to stand trial on 18 August on charges of homosexuality and repeal the discriminatory law used to imprison them, Amnesty International said today.

The two men – a 19-year-old known only as Jonas, and a 20-year-old known only as Francky – were arrested on 25 July in a car outside a night club in the Cameroonian capital, Yaoundé.

They have been charged under Section 347a of the Cameroonian Penal Code, which criminalizes same-sex sexual acts, and are being held at Yaoundé’s Kondengui central prison.

“Given the high level of officially sanctioned homophobia in Cameroon, those arrested under this law are at risk of attack or other forms of ill-treatment by fellow prisoners, or by prison authorities, because of their alleged sexual orientation.” said  Erwin Van Der Borght,  Amnesty International’s Africa Programme Director.

“Cameroon should repeal this draconian law. By arresting people purely because of their alleged sexual orientation, the Cameroonian government is flagrantly violating international human rights treaties which it has signed or ratified.”

Jonas and Francky are the latest in a series of young men arrested under Section 347a.  If convicted, they could face up to five years in prison. Continue reading

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