A gathering held to mark the end of this year’s International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) celebrations in the Cameroonian capital of Yaoundé turned violent after a mob forced their way into the venue.
Eric O. Lembembe, a journalist in Cameroon and a leader of the Cameroonian Foundation For AIDS (CAMFAIDS), filed a report about the incident that occurred on May 19 for 76crimes.com that was published on June 19. 76crimes is a reference to the 76 countries that continue to have anti-gay laws.
The event was held to allow representatives of several LGBTI organisations to discuss what the week of IDAHO activities have meant to them and to be followed by a party when men from the neighborhood gathered to oppose the event.
“We must stop this,” they say. “We don’t want them here.”
The news spreads by word of mouth through the neighborhood. Their numbers grow. Around midnight, they burst into the room. One of them hits a board against the ground.
Inside, the party atmosphere vanishes. Everyone panics. Some people run behind the podium, looking for an emergency door. Others hide under tables. The organizers call out, trying to restore calm.
Some people get away. Others not. Some are caught and beaten by the gang of gay bashers.
“Nearly two dozen people who came to the party were nearly beaten to death,” says Yannick N, an organizer of the evening. “The abusers themselves said they wanted to do away with them.”
Some gay men at the gathering were robbed of money, mobile phones, jewelry, identification papers, etc. Others were seized, insulted, beaten and injured, Some victims were stripped naked and forced to return home without clothes.
Gay bashers pulled gay men from taxis. They pursued young men running several thousand meters away from the party.
None of the organizers called the police because they know from experience that the police would have arrested the gay victims of the beatings rather than the gay bashers.
The report also noted that other earlier activities of IDAHO week in Yaoundé were held without major incident. Click here to go to the full report on 76crimes.com.
by News Editor
Source – Fridae