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21 Jun 2012

LGBT gathering in Cameroon attacked by anti-gay mob

A gathering held to mark the end of this year's International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) celebrations in the Cameroonian capital of Yaoundé turned violent after a mob forced their way into the venue.


Two gay men in Cameroon (Photo by Eric Lembembe)

Eric O. Lembembe, a journalist in Cameroon and a leader of the Cameroonian Foundation For AIDS (CAMFAIDS), filed a report about the incident that occurred on May 19 for 76crimes.com that was published on June 19. 76crimes is a reference to the 76 countries that continue to have anti-gay laws.

The event was held to allow representatives of several LGBTI organisations to discuss what the week of IDAHO activities have meant to them and to be followed by a party when men from the neighborhood gathered to oppose the event.

Lembembe wrote:

“We must stop this,” they say. “We don’t want them here.”

The news spreads by word of mouth through the neighborhood. Their numbers grow. Around midnight, they burst into the room. One of them hits a board against the ground.

Inside, the party atmosphere vanishes. Everyone panics. Some people run behind the podium, looking for an emergency door. Others hide under tables. The organizers call out, trying to restore calm. 

Some people get away. Others not. Some are caught and beaten by the gang of gay bashers. 

“Nearly two dozen people who came to the party were nearly beaten to death,” says Yannick N, an organizer of the evening. “The abusers themselves said they wanted to do away with them.” 

Some gay men at the gathering were robbed of money, mobile phones, jewelry, identification papers, etc. Others were seized, insulted, beaten and injured, Some victims were stripped naked and forced to return home without clothes. 

Gay bashers pulled gay men from taxis. They pursued young men running several thousand meters away from the party. 

None of the organizers called the police because they know from experience that the police would have arrested the gay victims of the beatings rather than the gay bashers.

The report also noted that other earlier activities of IDAHO week in Yaoundé were held without major incident. Click here to go to the full report on 76crimes.com.

Cameroon

Reader's Comments

1. 2012-06-21 11:56  
I am a ESL teacher in Seattle and those from Africa can often be so incredibly homophobic. I am not surprised and I feel sorry for African gays. I hope things change there soon
2. 2012-06-21 12:14  
this marks another step back from the idea of humanity...

what a shame... it even happened on the end of the celebration...

not the best way to end the celebration...
3. 2012-06-21 15:42  
I've found very sad sentence above : 「None of the organizers called the police because they know from experience that the police would have arrested the gay victims of the beatings rather than the gay bashers.」DEEP -ROOTED PROBLEM.
4. 2012-06-21 19:51  
Another attack on people and their basic human rights in the name of certain religious groups...Pathetic in this day and age...
Comment #5 was deleted by its author on 2012-06-21 19:51
6. 2012-06-27 16:37  
Unfortunately homophobia and violence against people is increasing again, even in the more homo-friendly countries. We are used to fascist dumb-asses, but what really pisses me off when they are pretending to be religiously motivated. "God/Jesus/Allah loves you?" F you! The moment one of these morons tries to put a finger on me or others he really should think again! Time of beeing nice is over!
7. 2012-06-28 13:49  
is it just me? or despite the change of time it seems more and more of such problem keep appearing. are we even safer in this day and age?

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