UN Human Rights High Commissioner's office urges Cameroon to stop jailing
suspected homosexuals on circumstantial evidence and to reconsider its
criminalization of sex between men
17 NOVEMBER 2012 | BY ANDREW POTTS
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed its
displeasure over the treatment of LGBT people by the Central African nation of
Cameroon where people are being convicted under the country's sodomy law
without any evidence of them having had sex.
Cameroon's penal code outlaws sex between men. However men have been jailed on
suspicion of being homosexual on the basis of things as trivial as sending text
messages and acting effeminately and drinking supposedly non-macho beverages.
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesman Rupert Colville
told the Voice of America that the UN is seriously concerned at the way that
Cameroon was imprisoning people for the mere suspicion of being homosexuals.
'In 2011, for example, Roger Jean-Claude Mbede was convicted of suspected
homosexual conduct after the authorities discovered he has sent a text message
to another man that read 'I am very much in love with you,' Colville told the
Voice of America.
'Last month, Jonas Singa Kumi and Franky Djome were convicted on the basis of
evidence of their appearance, which was perceived as effeminate, and the fact
that they had been seen drinking Bailey's Irish Cream.
'Laws that target people because of their sexual orientation are
discriminatory … we strongly oppose them and we obviously try and convince
governments that have such laws to change them.
'Many governments have had these kinds of laws and have changed them over the
years so we hope Cameroon will do [so] as well.'
Earlier this year the Catholic Archbishop of Cameroon's capital Yaoundé called
homosexuality 'an affront to the family, enemy of women and creation' ahead of
a national 'Gay Hate Day' in August while advocates for LGBT rights in the
country have received death threats.
Pubblicato da Lorenzo Bernini