Cameroon police can’t be bothered to probe activist’s murder

Eric Lembembe (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Eric Lembembe (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Police in Cameroon are not bothering to investigate the death of LGBT activist journalist Eric Ohena Lembembe,  according to his activist colleagues and human rights defender Alice Nkom.

“Police took no photos, collected no evidence, and there has been no autopsy,” one activist said.

Police likely didn’t bother with an investigation because neighbors told them that Lembembe was a homosexual, the activist said.

Nkom told France 24 that the police work was negligent:

“The police did not try to have the elements for a good inquiry, a good investigation to try to know who did this. Nobody even seems to have a picture of what they found in that house. …

“We are afraid that with no information from the police, we will never know who did this and no one will ever be punished. We are afraid there will never be justice.”

Alice Nkom and Saskia Ditisheim

Alice Nkom and Saskia Ditisheim

Lembembe was executive director of the gay-rights and health group Camfaids (Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS) and a frequent writer for this blog about persecution of LGBT people in Cameroon. Several of his articles appeared in the book From Wrongs to Gay Rights about the global gay rights movement, published in February.

His body was found July 15 by friends who had been unable to contact him for days. The body was lying on his bed in his apartment, with his neck and feet apparently broken and with burn marks from an iron that apparently had been applied to his face, hands, and feet.

Saskia Ditisheim, the president of the Swiss branch of Lawyers Without Borders, is helping Nkom with the case.

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7 thoughts on “Cameroon police can’t be bothered to probe activist’s murder

  1. The discrimination, stigma, harassment and attacks of gays, lesbians bisexual and LGBT activist are sometimes unbearable. The freedom we want for ourselves should be the freedom that we should want for others, homosexuals and lesbians not excepted. The media, religious bodies some civil society associations and organizations sometimes condemn same sex relationship and marriages. News of killing and molesting of Gays, lesbians and LGBT activist is rampant.
    There is no protection for people or groups that are sympathetic to gay issues in most West African countries. Going to the police to report gay right activism related incidences is a waste of time because they do not treat such matters seriously.

    Conclusively, gay practice and positive gay related discussions are a taboo in most West African countries. The simplest way to put oneself outside the protection of the law is to support gay issues. Journalists have been killed, beaten and attacked for propagating favourable gay issues in most countries in West Africa.

    With all of these recorded events, when will people wake up to the call of gay and lesbians rights and hearken to the cry of activist?


  2. Pingback: Cameroon groups: It’s too dangerous to keep fighting AIDS | 76 CRIMES

  3. Pingback: How Cameroon locals, others paid for slain LGBT leader’s funeral | 76 CRIMES

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  5. Pingback: Honors for LGBT defender Alice Nkom of Cameroon | 76 CRIMES

  6. Pingback: Activists demand new probe of Eric Lembembe murder | 76 CRIMES

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