Four Youths Arrested in Cameroon Accused of Homosexuality

Continuing arrests and torture of young people in Cameroon, accused of homosexual relations, the indifference of the international community. This time the detainees are four students, reported by another man who demanded money and being denied his request led neighbors to assault the men.

The next day, the brother of Raphael, one of the four young men (aged between 22 and 30) led him to the station and accused him of being homosexual. According to a statement ADEFHO [Association pour la Défense des droits des homosexuel (le) s], Raphael was the victim of a beating from the police who did not stop until he confessed to being gay and another youth, Kelvin, was his lover. Finally Kelvin and the other two guys (Gideon and Leonard) were also arrested.

The four young people have asked why they were refusing “anal medical examinations,” which in some African countries tends to  accuse men of homosexuality and face a possible sentence of up to five years in prison.

Dramatic Drop in Arrests and Convictions
The arrests of these four young men join the incessant grip of arrests and convictions that have taken place in the African country, some of which we have collected: in November 2011 (when three men were sentenced to five years in prison on charges of homosexual relations in a car); in October 2011 (when a young man was sentenced to three years in jail simply for sending an SMS) in August 2011, in April 2011, in March 2011 (the prisoner was sentenced to 36 months in prison, which is why Amnesty International conducted an action); in October 2010, in May 2010  two other men were later sentenced to five months in prison; in March 2010 (in this case the arrest was mixed with an extortion attempt by police to an Australian citizen;  December 2009 (in this case the young man was finally released after spending several days in prison in miserable conditions). And they are only cases that go internationally.

In Cameroon, gay sex is punishable by up to five years in prison, but according to the lawyer Alice Nkom (and brave president ADEFHO) police can only arrest a person if he is in a state of “flagrante delicto”.

Unfortunately, an increasing number of cases in which the Cameroonian Police ignored this requirement. Nkom herself (who has experienced her own harassment) has described what is happening as a genuine “homosexual hunt” orchestrated by the Cameroonian security forces.

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