While LGBTI communities are celebrating today’s International Transgender Day of Visibility, a 16-year-old trans girl has been held in Ebolowa prison in southern Cameroon since the weekend of 18 March just for being trans.
Under threat, landlord tells LGBT-friendly AIDS fighters to leave
Three days before Christmas, anti-gay vandals destroyed the office of CAMEF, an organization that fights for human rights and against AIDS among LGBT people and sex workers in Limbe in coastal Cameroon.
Leaders of CAMEF (Cameroon Association for Empowerment Outreach Programs) said they were “still in shock’ after finding the office burglarized by anti-LGBT vandals who left behind threatening messages stating “Go away, pede [fag], go away” and “Another warning: Go away”:
Our office door was pushed through by the persons that have been threatening us with … hateful signs and messages. They broke the main door’s handle and pushed it through.
The computer of CAMEF’s secretary was thrown on the floor. A digital camera and the laptop computers of the executive director and the sexual health and prevention coordinator were stolen. Files and documents were strewn on the floor. Tables…
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After three days in police custody in Cameroon, two gay men were released yesterday, but their daily life remains a nightmare.
“I’m upset and depressed. Because of what has happened to us [an attack by a gay-bashing crowd, death threats, police detention], I am more and more stressed. I fear that tomorrow morning our lifeless bodies will be found on a street in Yaoundé,” says Jonas Singa Kumie.
His longtime friend, Franky Djome, with whom he was imprisoned for homosexuality starting in 2011, feels “half dead.”
“Words fail me” he says in a low voice. “We’re in a living hell.”
After three days in custody at the Emombo police station in Yaoundé, the two men were released at about 7 p.m. March 27 from a court in Ekounou, where they had been hidden from their attackers. On March 24, wearing feminine attire, the two young men had been attacked in…
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Police in Cameroon have released two gay men whom they had held in custody for three days starting shortly after the men were attacked by a gay-bashing crowd on March 24.
Cameroonian journalist Eric Lembembe interviewed the two men, Jonas Singa Kumie and Franky Djome, after their release.
He has written an updated article on the case. The French version is here: “Jonas et Franky: ‘Nous vivons dans une insécurité totale.”
A translated version will soon be published here in English.
- Cameroon police re-arrest 2 gay men whom court freed (76crimes.com)
- Jonas and Franky, freed but now in hiding (Jan. 28, 2013) (76crimes.com)
- More articles about Jonas and Franky in prison and in court (76crimes.com)
Two gay men, released from a Cameroon prison in January, have again been arrested. They have been held in police custody for the past two days, since shortly after they were attacked in a local marketplace on Sunday, March 24.
The incident began when 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. They dressed as they usually do — in women’s attire and wearing wigs. From a distance, their sexy outfits could give the impression of two young ladies shopping at the market. But in this particular market, their identities could not go unnoticed. They are well known, because Franky ran a hair salon here before being sent to prison in 2011 to serve a five-year sentence for homosexuality.
They are also known outside Cameroon, because of news reports about their trial…
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Two young men charged with homosexuality-related crimes have been released from police custody in Cameroon after paying a bribe, according to human rights activists who worked on their behalf.
This new, detailed account of the case of the men identified as Depadou N, 21, and Paul Arno, 24, differs greatly in timing and outcome from the version in a recent Amnesty International report on human rights violations in Cameroon.
That report said they were arrested in November 2011 and held until at least December 2012, awaiting trial on charges of engaging in male-male sexual relations. In the activists’ account, the two men were arrested Nov. 23, 2011, and released five days later. In addition, the complaint against them was dropped.
This is the men’s complex tale of harassment, intrigue and bribery in Yaoundé, Cameroon, as told by their supporters:
“Depadou N” and “Paul Arno” — pseudonyms given to the men by…
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An angry crowd in northern Cameroon reportedly stoned a man to death on Jan. 6 after he was found having sex with a 17-year-old boy.
According to an online account, apparently from the newspaper L’Actu, Lamine Goche was killed by a crowd after he was “caught red-handed” inside his shop in the Central Market of Maroua, Cameroon.
A wholesale medicine supplier, Lamine Goche was a Nigerian native and an Islamic teacher, an Oustaz, the “name given to one who has completed the study of the Koran.”
The crowd was alerted by a “street kid” shouting “Samaroka! Samaroka!” (the word for homosexual in the Fulfulde language).
His body was abandoned by the neighborhood’s Muslim traders, leaving it for Christians to bury.
The 17-year-old was reportedly taken to the district chief.
One merchant said of Lamine Goche’s sexual orientation, “We suspected for years. But Allah did not give us an opportunity to…
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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 violating laws that punish those who are born gay, lesbian or bisexual. In addition, at least 14 other people are awaiting trial for homosexuality.
The prison sentences vary from three months to five years — at the low end of punishments that are on the books in the 76-plus countries where homosexuality is currently illegal.
Listing 27 names is probably an extreme understatement of the number of people who are behind bars or awaiting trial on anti-homosexuality charges, but finding out about specific cases is difficult, especially in countries without a free press.
The lists below provide a narrow window into just one of many types of injustice affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, sometimes with fatal results. (See the last…
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Uganda has started arresting LGBT activists in the capital city of Kampala as the country joins Nigeria, Cameroon and Zimbabwe as the most actively repressive anti-gay nations outside the Middle East.
Today a second gay youth worker, Kabuye Najibu of the Ugandan LGBT group Youth on Rock Foundation, was arrested on homosexuality-related charges. He was detained when he entered the Kawempe police station in Kampala to visit Joseph Kawesi, who was arrested on similar charges Dec. 31.
[Update: Reportedly they have now been released, but are in hiding.]
Kawesi is a co-founder of the Youth on Rock Foundation, which provides health and wellness information to LGBTI youth.
In her blog, South African attorney and United States-based LGBT rights advocate Melanie Nathan reported that both Najibu and Kawesi were arrested for “crimes relating to homosexuality” and “recruitment into homosexuality.”
Another colleague of Kawesi visited the police station with Najibu, but…
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Police in the Cameroonian coastal city of Limbe on Oct. 29 arrested a man on homosexuality charges after a mob seized him and delivered him to the police station.
Cornelius Fonya pleaded not guilty to the charges in a hearing on Nov. 7. His request for release on bail was denied. A hearing in his case is scheduled for Dec. 19.
Human rights lawyer Walter M. Atoh Tchemi, who is representing Fonya, said his client was arrested on the basis of the mob’s accusation, which in turn was based on accusations by two men who said Fonya had made advances toward them.
Fonya is accused of being caught in the act of homosexual sex, but Atoh said his client was not caught in the act of having sex with anyone.
Under Cameroonian law, homosexual activity is punishable by prison sentences of up to five years.
Under that law, eight people…
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After more than three months in prison on homosexuality charges, Samuel Gervais Akam, 42, was released Nov. 6 from the New Bell prison in Douala, Cameroon, to await his trial.
His release on bail was a victory for his attorney, Alice Nkom, a long-time defender of gay rights in Cameroon. She has been arguing for months for Akam to be released on bail on the grounds that he is in ill health and that his wife has died.
Akam was arrested June 24 on homosexuality charges after a financial dispute about sex with an 18-year-old man in the Bepanda neighborhood in Douala. A few days after the two were arrested, the youth was released. The date for Akam’s trial has not been announced.
Akam, a pastry chef, almost certainly lost his job during his stay in prison. No arrangements have yet been made to assist him in returning to a…
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Arrested in June, locked up in July, Samuel Gervais Akam remains in a cell in Cameroon’s overcrowded New Bell prison, awaiting trial on charges of homosexuality.
His story, told by sources close to Akam, is an ambiguous and complex tale about a married middle-aged pastry chef whose dispute with an 18-year-old boy about money and sex landed him in prison.
It started June 24 when the two met after nearly three months of dialogue on Gayromeo, a gay dating site that is popular with gay men in Cameroon. The rendezvous was between Akam, 42, of Douala, and Arold, 18, a vendor in the nearby Deido area.
When they met, everything seemed fine and Arold agreed to sex. Afterwards, when the time came to part, Akam gave Arold 2,000 FCFA (about $4) for transportation.
Arold said that was too little. Instead, he asked for 50,000 FCFA (about $100). Annoyed, Akam agreed…
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Lawyers for two men seeking to overturn their five-year prison sentences for homosexuality appeared on behalf of their clients before the central appeals court in Cameroon today.
Singa Kimie (also known as Jonas Singa Kumie) and Ndjome Francky (also known as Franky Djome)
were arrested in late July 2011 by police who found them having sex in a vehicle in the Essos district of Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon.
Their lawyers in the appeal are human rights attorneys Alice Nkom et Michel Togue, both of Cameroon, and Saskia Ditisheim, president of Lawyers Without Borders Switzerland.
The court scheduled a decision on the appeal for Oct. 5 [reportedly now re-scheduled for Oct. 19].
Lawyers Without Borders has said it will send a lawyer to each trial for the crime of homosexuality in Cameroon in partnership with the local Association for the Defense of Homosexuals, or ADEFHO, which is led by Nkom.
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#LGBT #Cameroon #Africa #News/ #RogerMbede’s 3-yr prison sentence for #homosexuality remains on hold, at least for 2 mths
A Cameroon man’s three-year prison sentence for homosexuality remains on hold, at least for two months.
Jean-Claude Roger Mbede served one year of the three-year sentence before he was released for medical treatment this summer.
His appeal was scheduled to be heard Monday (Sept. 17).
The panel of judges had changed from previous hearings and documents were missing in the case file.
The hearing was rescheduled for Nov. 19, so Mbede should be able to remain at liberty until then.
Representatives of many human rights and gay rights organizations attended yesterday’s appeal hearing, including CAMFAIDS, Humanity First Cameroon, Affirmative Action, ACODEV, ADEFHO, IGLHRC and Avocats Sans Frontières.
Mbede is the subject of an Amnesty International campaign for his release as well as a petition drive by he activist organization AllOut.org, which has gathered support from more than 100,000 people who have asked the Cameroonian government to keep him out…
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