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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

In Cameroon, three more arrests for homosexuality

By Paul Canning

Cameroonian LGBT activists are reporting the arrest of three men for homosexuality.

According to a press release by Alternatives-Cameroon and ADEFHO the three were arrested April 17 by the police in the 8th district of Douala, Cameroon's largest city.

Abubakar Silliki and Yannick Mbezele met to discuss a difference over money. Disagreeing they went to the local police station for mediation but once in the police station, Mbezele accused Siliki of promising him 30, 000 CFA (c€45) after having sex. Police then arrested the two and they were put in jail. A friend Ytembeng Pascal worried by their disappearanc went to the police and was also arrested and imprisoned on the basis of his "very feminine identity" and being "an accomplice of the couple".

After two days the three were released after Alice Nkom, Lawyer and President of ADEFHO, was able to convince a prosecutor of the illegality of their arrest, however their prosecution for homosexuality will continue.

The recently released US State Department report on human rights in Cameroon says that individuals incarcerated in Douala's New Bell Prison for homosexual acts suffered discrimination and violence from other inmates. A report by IGLHRC last year said that police and prison officers routinely abuse detainees they suspect of same-sex sexual relationships. Nkom and others defending LGBT have come under sustained attack, including threats by state officials of possible arrest and with violence from segments of civil society.

In late January 2011, a young gay man, Serges T., was nearly burned alive by a mob in Douala .

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