Gay in Cameroon: Police accuse blackmail victim

Location of Douala in Cameroon (Map courtesy of Penpals-du-Monde.blogspot.com)
Location of Douala in Cameroon (Map courtesy of Penpals-du-Monde.blogspot.com)

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Police in Cameroon this week turned on an LGBT man who sought their help after he was assaulted by an extortionist/blackmailer, according to the anti-AIDS pro-human-rights group Alternatives-Cameroon.

Instead of pressing charges against the extortionist/blackmailer, Alternatives-Cameroon said, police accused the victim of violating Cameroon’s anti-homosexuality law and ordered him to appear in court to face charges on Dec. 31.  In a press release, Alternatives-Cameroon stated:

The victim, Desiré N., was assaulted by Arold Ndelo , also known as Nicky Menage, in the JC Bonamoussadi crossroads area of Douala during the night of Dec. 28. Alternatives-Cameroon intervened to rescue Desiré N. from the assault.

Alternatives-Cameroun logoNdelo is the leader of a gang that repeatedly assaults, extorts and blackmails homosexuals. He is so well known that Alternatives-Cameroon and some of his previous victims joined Desiré N. in his complaint at the Bonamoussadi police station in the Akwa-Nord area of Douala.

Instead of paying attention to Desiré N.’s complaint and those of other victims about Ndelo, police accepted Ndelo’s accusations that Desiré N. had violated Cameroonian law against homosexual activity, which provides for prison sentences of up to five years.

Alternatives- Cameroon urged the Cameroonian government and the international community to act immediately to put an end to:

  • Assaults, blackmail and ambushes based on actual or perceived sexual orientation of individuals;
  • Manipulation of Article 347 bis of the Cameroonian Penal Code, which is supposed to apply only to people caught in the act of homosexual relations.
  • Injustice perpetuated by police, who misinterpret the law and use it against LGBT people who try to defend themselves from attacks.

The laxity of Cameroonian authorities creates a climate of insecurity in the LGBTI community and among human rights defenders, Alternatives-Cameroon said.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at info@76crimes.com.

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