Cameroon, Africa

Cameroon is called "Africa in miniature" for its geological and cultural diversity. Natural features include beaches, deserts, mountains, rainforests, and savannas. The highest point is Mount Cameroon in the southwest, and the largest cities are Douala, Yaoundé, and Garoua. Cameroon is home to over 200 different ethnic and linguistic groups. The country is well known for its native styles of music, particularly makossa and bikutsi, and for its successful national football team. Homosexuality is punishable according to Article 347 of the penal code with a prison sentence of 6 months to 5 years and/or a fine of 200,000 CFA. More severe sentencing is likely when one of the offenders is under 21 years of age.

 

News & Reports:

 

Cameroon’s sex workers brush off beatings to send clients for HIV tests

Yaounde (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – During six years of selling sex on the streets and in brothels across Cameroon’s capital Yaounde, Rose has been abused, attacked and forced to have unprotected sex by her clients. “There are some ferocious beasts amongst them,” said the sex worker, a tall woman in her late thirties, wearing a… Read more »

Cameroon lawyer wins award for defending gay rights

A lawyer in Cameroon has been recognised for her work to promote gay rights in Africa with an award from Amnesty International. Alice Nkom has spent a decade defending people accused of practising homosexuality. Homosexual acts are illegal in Cameroon and carry a five-year prison term. Ms Nkom described the award, which she received from… Read more »

Cameroon: LGBT victim could become a businesswoman

Carine, a 26-year-old Cameroonian lesbian, was released in September 2016 after four years in jail because of her sexual orientation. Now she wants to resume a productive and happy life. By PSF In November, recently released from prison, Carine (a pseudonym) visited the Douala offices of PEP Sans Frontière (Peer Educators and Promoters Without Borders,… Read more »

Cameroon: Thugs attack 2 friends; widespread trauma

A gang of homophobic thugs assaulted and robbed two young men in Cameroon, claiming that they were homosexuals who needed to be scared straight. It’s an all-too-familiar story in Cameroon, where such attacks lead to depression and passivity in the LGBTI community: P. and T. are friends. Just friends. On the night of Dec. 29,… Read more »

Non, merci: English-speaking Cameroon rises up, wants Republic of Ambazonia

A middle-aged man stands in front of a freshly covered grave, a flag tied around his neck. The flag has blue and white stripes and a white dove in its top left quadrant, but these are not the colours of any country recognised by the United Nations. That is something this man and thousands like… Read more »

Born This Way

About The Film Synopsis There are more arrests for homosexuality in Cameroon than any other country in the world. With intimate access to the lives of four young gay Cameroonians, Born This Way steps outside the genre of activist filmmaking and offers a vivid and poetic portrait of day-to-day life in modern Africa. Lyrical imagery,… Read more »

Alice Nkom: Preventing gay Cameroonians from accessing HIV care violates their human rights

Cameroonian lawyer Alice Nkom says her country will never get on top of its HIV epidemic if it continues to prevent gay citizens from accessing healthcare through repressive laws. The campaigner told PinkNews it was a “key issue” in Cameroon because “you violate the human rights of people to access health, medicines and treatment”. “When… Read more »

Cameroon: Accuser relents, but police won’t free alleged gay man

The author of this article is an activist for LGBT rights in Cameroon who writes under a pseudonym. A 22-year-old Cameroonian man, identified here as A.H., was held in police custody from Nov. 17 to Nov. 20 after a Facebook correspondent entrapped him and denounced him to police as a homosexual. The accuser, Serge, turned… Read more »

Lonely track star, victim of Cameroon’s homophobia

Thierry Essamba, an internationally competitive runner in the 110-meter hurdles, was suspended from the Cameroonian track squad on May 24 because of rumors about his alleged homosexuality. When the story of his punishment first appeared, LGBT activists abroad offered him words of support. But none of those words led to any concrete assistance, either in… Read more »

Cameroon: Prison sentence ends for man denounced as gay

A Cameroon man, age 29, has been released from prison, putting an end to incarceration that began when a friend reportedly claimed the man was a homosexual, attorney Michel Togué reports. The man (called Myan in this blog to protect him from homophobic attacks) was one of 10 prisoners who had all been arrested for… Read more »

New Film Explores Homophobia and Hatred Towards LGBTI Community in Cameroon

The silhouettes of two women are concealed amongst the gradients of quivering candlelight. The interviewer asks, “Can you kiss each other in public?”, one women responds “We hug each other in public. Even the hugs are discreet. But kiss on the mouth? No.” The other adds: “People would yell at us ‘Ooh lesbians. You can’t… Read more »

‘Anti-homosexuals apartheid’ in Cameroon says pro-gay lawyer

Alice Nkom, a Cameroonian lawyer who has defended gay men and women for the last decade, says the country is battling an ‘anti-homosexuals apartheid’, comparing the situation to slavery Alice Nkom, a pro-gay lawyer from Cameroon has spoken out about the treatment of gay people in her country, calling it an ‘anti-homosexuals apartheid’. She also… Read more »

A visit to prisoners held on ‘suspicion of homosexuality’

In The Nation,  journalist Andy Kopsa reports on her trip last month to Cameroon with an American and African delegation from the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation. Some excerpts: The daily tally of prisoners in Yaoundé Central Prison, on the outskirts of Yaoundé, Cameroon, is on a chalkboard the size of a Ping-Pong table… Read more »

African Conference on Sexual Health and Rights

LGBT Cameroonians cannot fully receive HIV/health services, so local and global organizations see the African Confer. on Sexual Health/Rights as an opportunity. This campaign is raising funds on behalf of Saint Pauls Foundation For International Reconciliation Inc, a verified nonprofit. The campaign does not necessarily reflect the views of the nonprofit or have any formal… Read more »

Remembering Eric Lembembe and Martin Luther King Jr.

International LGBT rights activist the Rev. Canon Albert Ogle writes about the similarities and differences between Eric Lembembe and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the causes they fought for. An excerpt from the full column: “They shared a common dream of human dignity and equality, a sense that they may not live long… Read more »

Call for probe: Family let Mbede die to exorcise gayness?

Grieving friends and allies of gay rights icon Roger Mbede are calling for an investigation into his family’s role in his death on Jan. 10. After Mbede, 34, left a hospital in Yaoundé last month, he was reportedly denied access to health care and was confined by his family to one room in their home… Read more »

Gay ‘prisoner of conscience’ dies in Cameroon

Yaounde, Cameroon (AP) — A gay man in Cameroon who was jailed for sending a text message to another man saying ‘‘I’m very much in love with you,’’ and who was later declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, has died, according to a lawyer who worked on his case. Roger Jean-Claude Mbede, 34,… Read more »

Cameroon LGBT activist granted asylum in US after receiving death threats for taking part in film

A Cameroonian LGBT activist has been reunited with her family in San Francisco after receiving death threats for appearing in a documentary on LGBT rights. The film documents how the LGBT community in Cameroon is forced to remain at the margins of society. The activist in the film, known only as Gertrude, has been granted… Read more »

Cameroon HIV support group honored with award

Alternatives-Cameroun awarded for HIV education and medical support, particularly for sexual minorities, in difficult circumstances An organization who provide HIV education and medical support for sexual minorities in Cameroon, in the midst of increasing violence against LGBT people, has won the 2013 Awards for Action from the Canadian HIV/Aids Legal Network. ‘Alternatives-Cameroun is on the… Read more »

Cameroon: Man sentenced to 9 years behind bars for gay sex

Reports say a man has been sentenced to nine years in jail for breaking Cameroon’s laws against homosexuality – even though the country’s penal code stipulates a maximum sentence of five years for those found guilty of same-sex sexual acts. LGBT campaign blog Erasing 76 Crimes, which charts 76 countries with anti-gay laws, said last… Read more »

Cameroon: 9 years in prison for gay sex; no witnesses

A Cameroon man was sentenced to nine years in prison yesterday (Nov. 20) on homosexuality-related charges. The sentence imposed on Cornelius Fonya, 35, in the coastal city of Limbe was for same-sex relations with a youth between age 16 and 21. In Cameroon, the maximum sentence for same-sex relations between adults is five years, but… Read more »

Torture Of LGBT Prisoners

In a shocking development, an HIV and LGBT human rights organisation has discovered a group of 10 previously unknown people jailed for homosexuality in a Cameroon prison. In a statement, CAMFAIDS said that it identified the prisoners, who had been arbitrarily detained on the basis of their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity,… Read more »

New gay apartheid sees LGBTs openly banned in Cameroon

As homophobic attacks continue to rise in the African country, several public venues have posted signs banning gay people A new gay apartheid in Cameroon has seen LGBT people being openly banned from several public venues. In the capital Yaoundé, a video taken by gay rights activists shows a bar with the sign ‘Espace Interdit… Read more »

‘A new low by Cameroon’s government’

The comments by the official state representative toward the late Eric Lembembe, who is no longer with us to defend himself against such vitriol, represent a new low by Cameroon’s government. – Neela Ghoshal, senior researcher on LGBT rights for Human Rights Watch: Human Rights Watch this week criticized the government of Cameroon for lies,… Read more »

No action on homophobic violence in Cameroon

Yaounde (IRIN) – In Cameroon, one of the world’s most homophobic countries, not only is intolerance towards same-sex conduct widespread, but murder and threats against homosexuals and rights activists are met with inaction from authorities, abetting the violence, rights groups say. In July, Cameroonian gay right activist Eric Ohena Lembembe was found murdered at his… Read more »

How Cameroon locals, others paid for slain LGBT leader’s funeral

How Cameroon locals, others paid for slain LGBT leader’s funeral The church was packed for the funeral of journalist/activist Eric Ohena Lembembe. (Photo by Camfaids) Donations from around the world Many people from Cameroon and at least seven other countries helped pay for the funeral of journalist and activist Eric Lembembe, who was murdered last… Read more »

Life harder for Cameroon gays since activist’s killing-lawyer

London (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Life has become even harder for gays in Cameroon and death threats more common since a prominent gay rights campaigner was brutally killed a month ago, one of the country’s leading lawyers said. Eric Ohena Lembembe, who had been fighting to legalise homosexuality in the central African country, was found… Read more »

Report: Cameroon mob murders gay man; police jail lover

O-blog-dee reports: Two weeks after the murder of activist Eric Lembembe, I have received word of yet another murder of a young gay man in Cameroon. The murder of Henry Mbah occurred two days ago in Muyunge, a village in the Muyuka subdivision in the South West Region of Cameroon. Mob killings is not unusual… Read more »

Murdered gay rights/HIV advocate and journalist documented deadly conditions.

Murdered gay rights/HIV advocate and journalist documented deadly conditions. At the end of a Senate briefing last week offering updates on science’s strides against HIV and AIDS worldwide, Dr. Chris Beyrer of John Hopkins University, and president-elect of the International AIDS Society offered a sobering counterpoint to the news of encouraging advances. “We’re not really… Read more »

Gay Rights In Africa: Easy To Champion From Afar, Fatal To Defend From Within

Human rights activist Eric Ohena Lembembe was brutally murdered last week by unknown assailants at his home in the West African country of Cameroon, and the government’s stubborn silence since then has made the gruesome fatality even more devastating. Lembembe was a vocal defender of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, people and the… Read more »

Cameroon Government Blasts Journalists For Coverage Of Lembembe Murder; Activists Call For Proper Investigation

Government officials in Cameroon have issued a statement criticising journalists over their coverage of the murder and brutal torture of prominent gay rights activist Eric Ohena Lembembe last week. The AFP reports: In the first official response to the killing of Eric Ohena Lembembe, government spokesman Issa Tchiroma said in a statement that journalists had… Read more »

Cameroon Urged to Assure Protection Following Death of Gay Activist

The Cameroon Association for the Defense of Homosexuality and lawyers defending gay rights are calling on Cameroon’s government to assure them of their protection after a gay rights activist and journalist, Eric Ohena Lembembe, was found dead in his home. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Lembembe was tortured and killed. Many gay people said it… Read more »

Prominent Gay Rights Activist In Cameroon Found Dead, Tortured

Human Rights Watch reports that Eric Ohena Lembembe, a gay rights activist and journalist, was found dead at his home on July 15 in Yaoundé, Cameroon. He had been brutally tortured: LembembeLembembe’s friends discovered his body on Monday evening after being unable to reach him by telephone for two days, and went to his home.… Read more »

Peaceful celebration in Cameroon a year after mob attack

Three associations in Cameroon’s capital city organized a week’s activities to commemorate this year’s International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO). Unlike last year, the activities were not disrupted by anti-gay violence. IDAHO 2013 In Cameroon Time: around 6 p.m., May 17. Location: The Bastos Roundabout residential area of Yaounde, where most embassies are located, within walking… Read more »

Cameroon: Drop Charges Against 2 Transgender Youth

Prosecution Based Solely on Bias, Not Evidence (Yaoundé) – The Cameroonian authorities should drop the charges against two transgender youth rather than appealing their case to the Supreme Court, five human rights organizations said today. Jonas K. and Franky D. are being prosecuted on what the appeals court has already ruled were trumped-up charges of… Read more »

UN Human Rights Council Pressures Cameroon Over LGBT Persecution

“Please accept the idea that we are not ready to accept what other countries accept today,” said Foreign Minister Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo. United Nations (TRNS) – During Cameroon’s regularly scheduled Universal Periodic Review (UPR) today in Geneva, 16 members of the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva pressured the country to take steps to improve… Read more »

Gay, Trans Cameroonians Arrested… Again!

Cameroon – Two Men who had been arrested and released on charges of homosexuality in January have been rearrested again, it has been reported. Jonas Singa Kumie and Franky Djome (Franky Ndome), variously described as gay men and as transgender, went shopping last Sunday at the Essos market in Yaoundé where they were insulted by… Read more »

Report: Cameroon jails many LGBTs to settle scores

Most people charged with violating Cameroon’s law against homosexual activity are convicted based on little or no evidence, Human Rights Watch states in a report released today. The study was prepared in cooperation with Cameroonian LGBT-rights organizations Alternatives-Cameroun, the Association for the Defense of Gays and Lesbians (ADEFHO), and the Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS (CAMFAIDS).… Read more »

In Cameroon, anti-gay voices grow louder

In Cameroon, the topic of homosexuality is no longer taboo. Both in Yaoundé and Douala, on the street, in taxis, restaurants, bars, offices and markets, on the radio and on television, it is difficult to spend a day or even an hour without the conversation reverting to this topic. Opposition to homosexuality has become the… Read more »

Lawyer advocating for gay Cameroonians speaks in D.C.

Cameroonian LGBT advocate Michel Togue (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers) A lawyer who represents LGBT Cameroonians on Thursday urged his African country’s government to stop the persecution of gay men and lesbians. “Gay people are not seeking everyone to approve of their behavior,” Michel Togué said during a roundtable at the Robert F.… Read more »