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In Cameroon, March 8 is the Day against Women

As International Women's Day approaches, three women arrested on suspicion of homosexual practises prepare for the hearing.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

2nd March 2012 07:08

Alessia Valenza

The public prosecutor’s case against Martine A., aged 26 years, Estelle B., 29, and Leonie D. could not be held Monday, February 20, 2012 as originally planned because of the large crowds that this case had drawn to the City Court of Ambam.

Arrested on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 (Valentine’s Day—the day to celebrate love), the three girls were held on suspicion of homosexual practices after a scene of jealousy between them made it possible for the police to arrest them. At that time they were taken to the gendarmerie in Ambam where they spent nearly a week in custody. They were released Monday, Feb. 20 from the Court of Ambam as the hearing could not be held due to the large crowd. It was rescheduled for March 8, 2012, the International Women’s Day. The gay community in Cameroon is very concerned about the former Deputy Prefect of the Ambam region, who denounces "a vast network of homosexuals from Equatorial Guinea and Gabon that supposedly live in the region."

The Alternatives-Cameroon Association:

  • Condemns arrests based on sexual orientation
  • Opposes prolonged custody without cause
  • Can only be offended by the symbolic choice of date set for trial (March 8, International Women’s Day), and alerts the Minister for Women and Families of the potential international repercussions of such a trial on this day.
  • Condemns all acts of violence or humiliation committed against those arrested for homosexuality in the courts and holding cells.
  • Calls once again for the deletion of Article 347 bis of the Penal Code of Cameroon, which criminalizes homosexual behavior.

Persons to contact:
Parfait Behen: + 237 99 93 29 65
Yves Yomb: + 237 77 81 68 37/+ 237 99 65 07 49
Simon Biacth: + 237 74 64 51 12