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Cameroon: situation for LGBT people still critical

in CAMEROON, 20/02/2006

CALL FOR DECRIMINALISATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY

Press release, ADEFHO / Warning
Douala, February 16, 2006

The ADEFHO (The Cameroonian Association for the Defense of Homosexuality) and WARNING, a French association working for the prevention of HIV and for LGBT health, declare themselves to be very concerned by the continuing discrimination against and marginalization of the homosexual minority in Cameroon.

Signatory to various international conventions on human rights and liberties, the Cameroonian Government, when reviewing the Constitution in 1996, constituted individual rights as the foundation of society. However, article 347 bis of the Penal Code punishes “anyone who has sexual intercourses with a person of his/her sex” with 6 months to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of 20.000 Fcfa to 200.000 Fcfa.

This Article (347 bis) is in contradiction with the 4th article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Liberties, and therefore violates homosexuals’ rights.
One of the most recent cases is that of 11 men, arbitrarily arrested, assaulted, denied the presumption of innocence and thrown into the Yaounde Central Prison where they have been raped and have experienced the worst possible treatment since June 1, 2005.

To prove that the “11” are gays, Ordinance N° 05-B4 Maj-3241, signed on September 7, 2005 by the Substitute District Attorney of the Yaounde Tribunal of First Instance, assigned a professor of the CUSS (Medical School) in Yaounde to carry out anal forensic examinations in order to determine whether they had engaged in anal sex before their arrest on May 22, 2005. We strongly oppose these denigrating and insulting practices, which constitute a double violation of their individual rights.

The stigma and discrimination attached to same sex lovers frustrates them and renders them more vulnerable to STI and HIV/AIDS. Homophobia is a force that compels homosexuals to live a double life by hiding their real self by having multiple sexual partners of both sexes.

How can it be explained that in the 21st Century and in a free and laic country, some people still cannot freely live their sexuality because of so-called ‘African’, religious and moral values. How is it possible that in the name of a law copied on the French counterpart long passed the Cameroonian government let situations like this get worse by day?

We members of ADEFHO, Cameroon through Warning appeal for the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the condemnation of homophobia, which is an intolerable discrimination based on sexual orientation and equivalent to discrimination on the basis of religion, race and/or gender.

Contact :
ADEFHO (Cameroon) : 00 (237) 342 17 63 or 990 31 90, adefho@mygaypal.com


ADEFHO is a non political a and non confessional association declared on the 3rd of February 2003 in Douala. BP 59 –Douala- Cameroun

Warning (France) : + 33 6 60 64 54 68 jab@thewarning.info www.thewarning.info

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