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Friday, 12 August 2011

In Cameroon, more arrests of gays, awful treatment in prison

By Paul Canning

The Cameroon LGBT group Alternatives Cameroun reports on more arrests of gay men in that country.

Three were arrested 25 July in front of the Madison Night Club (Montée Mimboman) in the capital, Yaoundé.

They were arrested according to Cameroon Tribune for allegedly having sex in a car - according to KaiWalai a blowjob - by a special security force unit, the GMI (Groupement Mobile d'Intervention) who saw the car swerving. The report alleges they were dressed in women's clothing and that the two younger men were prostitutes.

The three were then held in custody for a week. Two of them - Jonas (19 years) and Francky (20) - remain in prison with an 18 August court date. According to Alternatives-Cameroun, the third man, N. Hilaire, 36, was able to negotiate his release from detention "thanks to his financial resources and his health problem", however the newspaper reports a bribe being rejected.

Roger Jean Claude Mbede
Alternatives-Cameroun have visited another gay man in Yaoundé Central Prison (Kondengui) who is imprisoned for homosexuality, Roger Jean Claude Mbede. They said:
"We found Mr. Mbede Roger Jean Claude in a state of moral health and nutritional deplorable. Suffering at the time  with his  left eye and without treatment or medications. He told us he slept on the ground since his imprisonment, and abandoned  by most of his family members who regard  him as a wizard."

Mbede was arrested and sentenced in March to 36 months of prison after sending an text message in which he declared his love to a friend he had met on the internet. Amnesty International is running an international campaign demanding his release.
They say Mbede is “at risk of physical attack and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment on account of his real or perceived sexual orientation.”
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