Climate Of Fear Among LGBTI Cameroonians

A GAY activist in Cameroon has said that they have received reports of LGBTI
members being targeted by blackmailers through dating sites.

In an article, Yves Yomb, executive director of Alternatives-Cameroun said
that 'a climate of fear has spread in the LGBTI community of Cameroon because a
group of criminals has infiltrated dating websites frequented by homosexuals'
in recent weeks.

Earlier this week, unconfirmed reports say that a gay man was lynched to death
in a market place after he was caught having sex with a 17 year old boy.

Yomb highlighted cases of several gay and lesbian members who fell victim to
blackmailers who were using dating sites to target victims. The latest victim,
from Douala was attacked by three people who threatened to expose his sexuality
unless he gave them money.

Yomb says that the victim traced the attack after he met one of the member of
the gang in 2011 and after spending a night together, he was asked to part with

'A year later, the gang returned to the victim's home with three accomplices
and demanded money under threat of revealing he was gay. After a violent fight
between the victim and his attackers, the gang escaped with some of his
possessions,' writes Yomb.

The lead member of the gang was arrested and forced to return the stolen good
after intervention from Alternatives-Cameoroun.

Earlier this year, a Cameroon court acquitted two men who had been handed 5
year sentences for 'looking gay.' According to reports, the two were alleged to
have been caught having oral sex in a car in the capital.

The judge who sentenced the two said that they were gay 'given they were
drinking Bailey's liqueur' a remark that was regarded as irrelevant.

Lesbians are also targeted, writes Yomb. A recent case of a lesbian who was
blackmailed by a lady she met online proves this.

The victim had agreed to meet in a hotel with the lady she met online but
after a while, another man joined them saying he was a police officer and
threatened to take the victim to a police station and charge her with

'We have received many other complaints from members of the LGBTI community
about blackmail and ambushes,' notes Yomb. 'All these abuses were planned with
the complicity of some members of the LGBTI community and most of the abusers
are also from this community.'

He added: 'It is sad to see that a community so strongly discriminated against
by society has begun to fight itself. It is also sad to see that the LGBTI
community in Cameroon is, as the French writer Aimé Césaire said, a crowd which
doesn't know how to be a crowd.'

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Pubblicato da Lorenzo Bernini