Five Human Rights Groups Call on Cameroon President to Halt Anti-Gay Arrests, Harassment by Government

In an open letter to the President of Cameroon, Paul Biya, five human rights organizations called for the government to end detentions, arrests and harassment of its citizens based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, Amnesty International reports:

Cameroon Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch joined the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), L’Association pour la Défense des Droits des Homosexuel(le)s (ADEFHO) and Alternatives Cameroun in urging the government to release all individuals detained under the discriminatory law.

“This use of criminal law to punish private sexual activity between consenting adults contravenes international human rights laws that Cameroon has signed and ratified,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“We are receiving an increasing number of reports that individuals are being targeted not only because of their sexual behaviour, which is the subject of these discriminatory laws, but because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. This use of criminal law to punish identities, as well as behaviours, is deeply concerning,” he added.

The organization reports that "at least ten individuals in Yaoundé and Douala have been arrested" in the last ten months.

Posted September 26, 2011 at 12:59pm ETC by Andy Towle
in Cameroon, News