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Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Action alert: France wants to remove gay Cameroonian

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By Paul Canning

UPDATE 22 SEPT: Message from Ardhis.

After three consecutive scheduled departure for flights to Douala, Cameroon's Honore was presented in court last Friday for "denied boarding". The hearing has been postponed, it will be held in the afternoon of Friday, October 29 next from 1:00 p.m. before the 16th Criminal Chamber of the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Bobigny. Honore incurs three months in prison and a ban from entering three years after leaving the detention center, it will be more committed for detention center in the objective to expel him. Honore will seek his release.

We invite you to come show your support by attending his Honore hearing, Friday, October 29 , starting at 13h at TGI de Bobigny, 93. This mobilization will be key!

Honore then returned home Friday night after nearly 30 days of detention. It will drop, these days, an appeal to the Court of National Right to Asylum (NADC), whose hearings are generally convened a year later.

Honore is no longer in detention, but it is nevertheless not truly free. Indeed, the order of deportation decided by the prefect of Seine et Marne is enforceable means any inquiry can restore it to the situation of being deported, and that even if he has filed his appeal to the NADC.

We therefore urge you to continue your engagement by signing and by signing our petition which garnered over 500 signatures so far to secure the repeal of the order of deportation, may well go for Honore after his asylum application procedure, without being arrested.

We welcome the mobilization of all, including that of many local, national, European and French and also that of many leaders of organizations. Honore knows how to express his gratitude!

UPDATE 19 SEPT: After 48 hours of custody, Honore is presented today, Friday 17th , from 13h, the criminal court on the grounds of denial of access. His hearing is held before the 17th chamber of the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Bobigny, Seine Saint Denis (93). It is defended by Mr Herrero.
UPDATE 15 SEPT: Idaho leader Louis-George Tin and others have been in contact with immigration Minister and local officials. Tetu reports that the MEP Catherine Trautmann has written to the prefect of Seine-et-Marne. Honoré's removal flight was scheduled for 1.50pm. No word yet on whether his flight was cancelled.
Yagga is quoting Louis-Georges Tin that the flight has been canceled. Yagga also reports that the Immigration Ministry declined to answer questions about the case, as did the Prefecture of Seine et Marne, responsible for the deportation, who are also refusing to talk to either Ardhis or Tin. However Mr. Zimeray, Ambassador for Human Rights at the Foreign Ministry did talk to both the media and campaigners. Tin described the different reactions as a "cacophony between ministries"
"There is a big contradiction between left and right hand or right-wing of this government. On one hand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs fight against the criminalization of homosexuality and against homophobia in some countries, and on the other hand, the Department of Immigration refers men from French territory to countries where are known to be threatened or punished for their sexuality."
Both Tin and Ardhis are calling for campaign support to be stepped up, warning that Honoré could still be removed in the coming days.

Updated to add: Nicolas Alexeyev informs us that the flight was canceled only because Honoré resisted - as he has done twice before. He says it is very likely that they will try again very soon.


The French LGBT asylum group Ardhis and Idaho (International Day Against Homophobia) are calling for support to stop the French state removing a gay Cameroonian man, Honoré.

Honoré arrived in France only in January. He did not immediately apply for asylum on the grounds of persecution in Cameroon for his sexuality because he did not know that he could. This has fatally flawed his claim in the eyes of the French state and they tried to deport him - handcuffed and shackled - by plane on Sunday 12 September. Fortunately the pilot refused and he remains in detention but still under threat of removal.

Ardhis report that a new flight has been scheduled for tomorrow at 11am.

Honoré is 38 years old and a Bamileke. His homosexuality was revealed following the discovery of his relationship with the young son of a prominent Bamileke. This led to threats against him.

He is being held in detention at Mesnil Amelot in the Seine et Marne prefecture. All appeals against his removal have been rejected.

Ardhis has drawn attention to previous cases where gay Cameroonians have been accepted for French asylum, though only as the result of persistent campaigning and legal support. However neither it nor Idaho has received any response from the French Minister responsible regarding Honoré.

Updated to add: This webpage is being updated (in French) with news [Google translation to English].

Ardhis say:
A petition has also been put online:
To help Honore, you can write to the prefect of Seine et Marne, by email, fax, or snail mail.
Here are the contacts of the Prefecture of Seine et Marne:
We offer a form letter or personalized copy, making sure to remain courteous:
Monsieur le Préfet,
Je vous écris suite à la mobilisation initiée samedi passé par notre organisation afin d'obtenir l'annulation de l'éloignement de Monsieur Honoré WAMBE MOKIEDJE.
Ce ressortissant camerounais fait l'objet d'une mesure d'éloignement, suite à l'arrêté préfectoral de reconduite à la frontière pris à son encontre le 19 août dernier par vos services (référence de l'aprf: 10-77-00785). Il est en rétention au centre du Mesnil Amelot ,et sera presenté pour la troisème fois sur un vol à destination de Douala demain 15 septembre ( vol AF 946 13 h 50 ).
Comme vous pourrez le lire dans notre communiqué de presse (voir ci-dessous), nous indiquons que la Cour Nationale du Droit d'Asile a annulé au moins deux fois des décisions de rejet de l'OFPRA pour des demandeurs d'asile camerounais homosexuels. L'un de ces deux réfugiés avait d'ailleurs déposé sa demande d'asile en rétention comme Monsieur WAMBE MOKIEDJE. C’est pourquoi nous sollicitons que Monsieur WAMBE MOKIEDJE puisse avoir accès également à une voie de recours afin qu’il puisse être vérifié que notre pays n'éloigne pas une personne en situation de dangers de mauvais traitements.
Pour rappel, l'Ardhis est née en 1998 pour revendiquer l'existence d'un droit au séjour pour l'étranger pacsé. Notre association a obtenu ainsi la création d'une disposition préfectorale, explicitée par la circulaire du ministre de l'Intérieur du 30 octobre 2004, dans laquelle l'Ardhis est expressément citée comme un interlocuteur des préfectures sur ces questions. Depuis 5 ans, notre association s'est aussi saisie de la cause des étrangers demandant l'asile du fait de craintes de mauvais traitements à cause de leur orientation sexuelle. Nous accompagnons à ce titre des demandeurs d'asile dans leurs démarches juridiques et sociales. Notre association, basée à Paris, a une vocation nationale. Son activité est assurée par des volontaires bénévoles. En pièce jointe, une copie scannée de notre dépliant de présentation institutionnelle.
En conclusion, nous vous demandons instamment d'annuler le vol prevu demain afin de permettre à monsieur Honoré WAMBE MOKIEDJE de rester sur le territoire national et d'abroger l'APRF afin qu'il puisse déposer un recours devant la CNDA.
En vous remerciant de votre diligence, veuillez croire, Monsieur le Préfet, en notre très haute considération.
[Google translation]
Mr. Prefect
I am writing following the mobilization launched last Saturday by our organization to obtain the cancellation of the expulsion of Mr. Honoré WAMBA MOKIEDJE.
This Cameroonian national is the subject of an expulsion, following the prefectural deportation order against him last August 19 in your services (reference APRF: 10-77-00785) . He is being detained, Le Mesnil Amelot, and will be presented for the third time on a flight to Douala tomorrow September 15 (Flight AF 946 13 h 50).
As you will read in our press release (see below), we indicated that the National Court of asylum to cancel at least twice decisions rejecting OFPRA for Cameroon gay asylum seekers . One of these refugees had also filed his application for asylum in detention like Mr. WAMBA MOKIEDJE. Therefore we request that Mr. WAMBA MOKIEDJE can also have access to a remedy so that it can be verified that our country does not separate a person in danger of abuse.
To recap, Ardhis was born in 1998 to claim the existence of a right to stay abroad for PACS. Our association has obtained and the creation of a provision prefectural explained by the circular of the Minister of Interior of 30 October 2004, in which the Ardhis is specifically cited as an interlocutor of the prefectures on these issues. For 5 years, our association has also seized of the case of foreigners seeking asylum because of fears of abuse because of their sexual orientation. We support this as asylum seekers in their legal and social approaches. Our association, based in Paris, has a national mandate. Its activity is provided by volunteers. Attachment, a scanned copy of our brochure corporate presentation.
In conclusion, we urge you to cancel the flight tomorrow to allow Mr. Honoré WAMBA MOKIEDJE remain on the national territory and to repeal APRF so he can file an appeal with the NADC.
Thanking you for your diligence, please accept, Mr. Reeve, in our highest consideration.
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