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:


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 »

Cameroon gay rights lawyer seeks US refuge

While his wife and children are requesting asylum, Togue is hoping to return soon to Cameroon, insisting “it would be cowardly to give up, it’s my duty to defend human rights and to contribute to a more tolerant Cameroon.” Washington – A Cameroonian lawyer who has received death threats for defending gays and lesbians in… Read more »

Cameroon trader stoned to death for gay sex

A trader in north Cameroon was lynched mobbed in a public market after he was caught having gay sex An angry mob in northern Cameroon stoned a man to death on 6 January after being caught having sex with a 17-year-old high school student. According to an online unconfirmed account, attributed to the Cameroonian daily… Read more »

Court overturns 5-year sentence for gay sex in Cameroon

Two young men in Cameroon were found not guilty today, overturning their previous sentence to five years in prison for homosexuality. Stephane N. Koche, project manager for PAEMH (Project for the Support and Assistance of Sexual Minorities), reports: Franky and Jonas, the two young men who were arrested, detained and sentenced to five years in… Read more »

With Uganda arrests, at least 13 in jail for being gay

In Cameroon, Jonas Singa Kumie and Franky Djome are appealing their five-year sentence for homosexual activity. Here they pose with their attorney, Alice Nkom. (Photo by Eric O. Lembembe) Arrests of two gay-rights workers this week in Uganda bring to at least 13 the number of people worldwide who are currently imprisoned on charges of… Read more »

Cameroon: Gay-love text gets sender 3 years in jail

A Cameroonian man texts another man: “I am very much in love with you.” That is enough to get him sent to prison. An appeal hearing held yesterday confirms his sentence. This story will move only those who have a heart. The remainder — well, perhaps they man the judicial system in Cameroon. Jean-Claude Roger… Read more »

Cameroon: Court refuses to release man serving 3-year sentence for ‘homosexual behaviour’

A court in Cameroon has upheld a conviction against a man found guilty of “homosexual behaviour” for sending a text message to another man saying: “I’m very much in love with you.” The Court of Appeal ruled early on Monday that Jean-Claude Roger Mbede, 32, must serve out his three-year jail term. He was provisionally… Read more »

Will Jean Claude Mbede Be Released Soon?

Cameroonian lawyers confident and hope for a positive outcome at the next hearing According to his group of lawyers, the trial of Jean-Claude Roger Mbede the Cameroonian prosecuted for incitement to the practice of homosexuality could end on a positive note. The Pan-African magazine Jeune Afrique speaking to the hearing on Wednesday, November 21 in… Read more »

Cameroon: Gay rights supporting lawyer’s children receives death threats

A lawyer in Cameroon, who has made a career of defending gay rights, has been on the receiving end of death threats, along with members of his family. In November 2011, Michel Togue unsuccessfully fought to prevent three gay men from going to jail in the country, having been given sentences of five years. Mr… Read more »

Seeking support for plea to Cameroon to stop jailing gays

Several activist groups in Cameroon are preparing an open letter to the President of Cameroon, Paul Biya, urging him to suspend enforcement of the Cameroonian law against homosexuality and to release seven people who are in prison because of it. Support is welcome from other organizations outside Cameroon that promote human rights and/or are fighting… Read more »

Thousands Demand Cameroon Drop Criminal Charges for Gay Text Message

Nearly 25,000 people have signed an petition asking the Cameroon President and Minister of Justice to reverse the decision to jail Roger Jean-Claude Mbédé for three years and to put a moratorium on the laws that sent him to jail in the first place. Roger was arrested last year for sending another man a… Read more »

Gay Hate Day: The opposite of pride

Rights groups condemn the idea of a homophobic celebration in Cameroon. There won’t be any rainbow flags at Cameroon’s gay hate day parade, and human rights leaders have called on the president to step in and decriminalize homosexuality. A group called Rassemblement de la Jeunesse Camerounaise association (Cameroonian Youth Rally, or RJC) has declared Tuesday,… Read more »

Cameroon to celebrate national anti-gay day

Cameroon association to mark the 21 August as a national anti-gay, promising a homophobic parade through the streets of the capital The Rassemblement de la Jeunesse Camerounaise association (Cameroonian Youth Rally, or RJC) announced that it will ‘celebrate’ a gay hate day. The association doesn’t want to hear about gay pride, instead it announced on… Read more »

LGBT gathering in Cameroon attacked by anti-gay mob

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… Read more »

Pastor becomes unlikely hero for gay Cameroon

Evangelical rector based in Cameroon Jean-Blaise Kenmogne has come out in defence of LGBT rights With Christian extremists leading the campaign against gay people in Africa a Protestant pastor in Cameroon, Jean-Blaise Kenmogne, has become an unlikely defender of lesbian and gay rights. Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender carries huge risks in Cameroon; same-sex… Read more »

Cameroon: Authorities ‘shut down gay rights workshop’

A gay rights workshop in Cameroon’s capital city, Yaoundé, was shut down last week by authorities after it was discovered the human rights under discussion were relating to sexuality, Human Rights Watch said today. Activists had sought and secured permission to hold an event on human rights and health at the Yaoundé Hotel, but authorities… Read more »

Cameroon delays appeal of man serving three years for gay sex

Amnesty International says Jean-Claude Roger Mbede, jailed for homosexuality, is prisoner of conscience and anti-gay laws should be lifted Cameroon’s courts have again delayed an appeal hearing for a gay man sentenced to three years jail for homosexuality in April 2011. Jean-Claude Roger Mbede expected to have his case heard today but was not brought… Read more »

Ten women arrested in Cameroon for being lesbian

    Face up to five years in prison if convicted     Liberia looks to toughen its anti-gay laws Ten women have been arrested in Cameroon on suspicion of being lesbians. They have been detained in Ambam, some 190 miles south of the capital of Yaounde, until they go on trial, Cameroon Radio Television reported. Consensual… Read more »

Opinion: Gay rights in Cameroon

Gay rights – or lack thereof – in sub-Saharan Africa (and indeed, parts of Asia and the Middle East) are becoming an increasing cause for concern among human rights groups, campaigners and forward thinking governments around the world. Many states punish those perceived as homosexual with hefty fines, lengthy prison sentences, torture, and sometimes even… Read more »

Coming Out of the Nkuta: Disclosure of Sexual Orientation Among MSM in Cameroon

The situation of sexual minorities inCameroon is a human rights issue (Alternatives Cameroun, Adefho, Human Rights Watch, IGLHRC, 2010; Alternatives Cameroun, IGLHRC, Center for Human Rights, Global Rights, 2010). In this country, homosexuality is not only subject to social rejection but is also punishable by prison sentences. Although local MSM organizations, supported by a few… Read more »

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… Read more »

Cameroon Moves To Strengthen Its Anti Homosexual Laws

Alternatives Cameroon, an LGBTI organisation, reports that government policy makers last week convened to endorse a preliminary draft of a law that imposes harsher penalties for homosexual acts. The organisation revealed that the government convened a validation meeting on Friday December 2 during which a revision of the current law regarding homosexuality was discussed. Existing… Read more »

Male sex workers face social stigma and poor access to care

In Cameroon male sex workers have been left out of HIV and Aids prevention and control programmes and face discrimination in gaining access to healthcare by Anne Mireille Nzouankeu, in Douala, Aurélie is a transvestite sex worker in Cameroon’s largest city, Douala. Last month, after a condom he was using broke during sex, he… Read more »

Gay Cameroon News & Reports 2011

Useful website for LGBT Africa 1 Cameroonian Gay Rights Activist Fears Arrest 1/11 2 LGBT Africans Face Blackmail and Extortion on a Regular Basis 2/11 3 Two Cameroonian citizens, detained for homosexuality since 10/10, released 4/11 4 In Cameroon, Homosexuals No Longer Hide 4/11 5 Cameroon: ‘Sodomy’ Law Violates Basic Rights 5/11 6 Amnesty fights… Read more »

Gay Cameroon News & Reports 2008-10

Useful website for LGBT Africa: 1 Cameroon men get six months jail for being gay 1/08 2 Alternatives-Cameroun Celebrates Release of Accused Gay Men 3/08 3 HIV-Positive People in Cameroon Face Resistance to Second-Line Antiretrovirals 11/08 3a Fighting to Free Those Found ‘‘Guilty’’ of Homosexuality 2/09 4 IFJ Warns of Dangers of Intolerance 3/09… Read more »

Gay Cameroon News & Reports 2003-07

Useful website for LGBT Africa: 1 To be or not to be a lesbian? …Cameroon’s Women Soccer Players 2003 2 17 homosexuals face charges in Cameroon 7/05 3 Seven Months Behind Bars On ‘Suspicion’ Of Being Gay 12/05 4 Human Rights Groups Protest Incarceration of Suspected Gays 12/05 5 Row over Cameroon ‘gay’ witchhunt… Read more »