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On July 15 at 5:45 pm in Yaounde, I discovered the dead body of our colleague from the Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS, CAMFAIDS. He was a friend and activist for health; a human rights defender for LGBTI persons, a journalist and a writer. His name was Eric Ohena Lembembe. He was locked in his room after having been tortured and killed.
This crime took place after a series of attacks, threats, and arrests made against members of the LGBTI community and their defenders.
Eric Ohena Lembembe denounced in his articles and publications these attacks and the instigators of them. He was harassed verbally on the telephone, by email and by SMS. He was even arrested and placed in detention. But he didn’t take these threats into account, and it cost him his life.
Since this crime, the insecurity situation for the LGBTI community has continued to get worse.
I would like to thank the Government of Cameroon for its participation in the UPR, but at the same time we would like to draw attention to the silence with respect to the situation of abuse of LGBTI persons and their defenders. We urge the government to implement the recommendations it accepted to investigate violence and threats against HRDs and of the rights of LGBTI persons, but also the recommendations they rejected to defend LGBTI persons.
We call for :
- an investigation into the killing of Mr. Ohena.
- the perpetrators to be sought out, prosecuted, and convicted
- the government to investigate prosecute and convict those responsible for the series of threats and attacks against LGBTI people
- the government to condemn all manifestations which incite homophobia and crimes.
- the LGBTI organisations are legally recognised
- and finally that the article 347 Bis criminalising homosexuality be wirdrawn from the penal code.
In the name of the love we bear for our country, in the name of the right to life and to the diversity of humankind and in the name of equality of rights, we call the government to put in place, nationally and internationally, all measures to protect LGBTI people, according to international standards.
To read the statement in French, click on top left hand side of the screen