Gays Targets for Violence in Cameroon

Criminalization of Homosexuality Leads to Abuses in Homes, Community


The Cameroonian police arrested Christian, accusing him of being gay: “On our way to the police station, the police officers insulted us and they beat us with batons on our heads and bodies. They kept saying they were going to burn us for being dirty pédés [faggots].” He was studying computer science, but after the arrest, the university forced him to drop out.

A new report by Human Rights Watch and Alternatives-Cameroun, a human rights organization, says Cameroonians who are perceived as gay are attacked by police, politicians, and the media. Families and friends reject them, even reporting them to the authorities. Same-sex conduct can lead to prison.

Steave Nemande, Alternatives-Cameroun president, received The Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism for speaking out against laws criminalizing homosexuality.
In Cameroon, guards hit prisoners arrested for homosexuality and threaten them with rape. Other inmates beat them and even urinate and defecate on their mattresses.

Women suspected of having sex with women become targets for rape.

Newspapers have published the names of those purported to be gay, and allege that homosexuals are power-hungry, corrupt, and intent on controlling the country.
Cameroon’s criminalization of homosexuality drives inequality within the justice system and violence within families and communities. The government should ensure that all Cameroonians live free of discrimination.

Source:Human Rights Watch