Tag Archives: Cameroon Radio Television

‘Gendarmes Bust Ring of Suspected Lesbians’

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An old co-worker of mine showed me this article and thought I might want to share it with other people. Not only is it absolutely disgusting, but it sheds light on how much progress we have made here in America with gaining equal rights as homosexual citizens in this country. I am in no way condoning or accepting what rights we have now, because until same-sex marriage is legal throughout the country, there is still a prejudice that exists. But, we do need to be happy with the strides we have taken and stand up and help those fighting for their rights, whether they live here in the U.S. or outside of this country. We can’t expect that things change here and then care nothing about other people’s situations changing, like those in Cameroon.

Cameroon Postline:

By Divine Ntaryike Jr

Some 10 women accused of indulging in same sex practices have been taken into pre-trial confinement at Ambam, a locality in Cameroon’s administrative South Region.  Gendarmes swooped down on the suspects with a wave of arrests launched on February 14, the local public prosecutor’s office reported late Wednesday.

The state-owned Cameroon Radio and Television, CRTV narrated in a radio newscast Wednesday that the “scandal” was triggered following the expression of jealousy by a jilted lesbian.  Esther Afan, 39, had tended a secret homosexual relationship with Matilde Essono, 26, for several years.

A couple of months ago, however, Matilde dumped her older lover for another woman.  Unable to cope with the feeling of having been so unceremoniously ditched, Esther tactfully sought revenge by confiding in Matilde’s spouse, Martin Essono.  He tipped him off about his spouse’s “unorthodox” sexual inclination and her new homosexual relationship.

The intrigued Essono immediately rushed to report the matter to local gendarmes who straightaway launched a probe.  For several days, they tailed the unsuspecting Matilde, especially recording her appointments and venues with other women.  Once satisfied with their database, they began pouncing on the suspects.

Among the nabbed suspects are women residing as far off as Kye-Ossi, a border town linking Cameroon to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.  Reports indicate homosexuality is skyrocketing at the border intersection town. Homosexuality is illegal in Cameroon and convicts face sentences of between six months and five years as well as fines that can stretch up to a maximum 200,000 CFA francs (about US$400).

Gay rights defender and founder of the founded the Association for the Defense of Homosexuals, Alice Nkom says detainees are frequently tortured in police stations to force them confess. Nkom says homophobia is currently spreading like bush fire in Cameroon.  “It’s getting worse.  These laws are illegal – the declaration of human rights is part of our constitution – but the judges still apply them.

People accused of homosexuality are put in jail straight away,” she told reporters in November last year after three men were each sentenced to five years in prison for homosexual acts. International rights defenders including Amnesty International have frequently lambasted Cameroon’s homosexuality law, rating it draconian and discriminatory and demanding its abolition.  But the authorities have stubbornly turned a deaf ear to such requests.

Last year, the government demanded and successfully obtained the withdrawal of grants allocated the Association for the Defense of Homosexuals by the European Union.  Nkom says she has received numerous death threats from fellow lawyers and Cameroonians, as well as a threat from the Ministry of Justice to dismiss her from the country’s roster of legal practitioners.

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