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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)

This article is also available  en français.

 

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. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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