Priest, young man arrested; Cameroon police seek bribe

In 2014, Cameroon was ranked by Transparency International as among the world's worst in terms of corruption -- the 136th out of 174 countries. (Photo courtesy of Cameroun24.net)
In 2014, Cameroon was ranked by Transparency International as among the world’s worst in terms of corruption — the 136th out of 174 countries. (Photo courtesy of Cameroun24.net)

We received the following statement from the CAMFAIDS (Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS), based in Yaounde, Cameroon (slightly modified):

Priest and a young man arrested for homosexuality in Yaounde last Friday (Jan. 16) at around 10 pm by officers from the special operations group (GSO).

According to facts gathered by CAMFAIDS’ legal officer, during the ride to the GSO police headquarters, the priest said:

“I was going for a walk when I met this young man. He was going in the same direction as me, and we started to chat when a police team arrived.  After police inquired, I introduced myself. But the young man, having no identity documents, told police in his defense that I had offered him money in exchange for sex.”

Arrested on the spot, the two individuals ended up spending the night in cells at the police station under the supervision of officer Biumla.

Blackmail and barbaric threats ensued during an animated discussion between the legal representative of CAMFAIDS and officer Biumla. In order to preserve his reputation, honor and freedom, and without forgetting the weight of his obligations to his rectory, the priest was forced to pay 100.000 FCFA (approx. US $ 175) to these first-class scammers to regain his freedom and that of his acquaintance.

“At the present time, he is safe and free, but a victim of his sexual orientation and of the widespread corruption in Cameroon,” added E. J. Ella Ella, executive director of CAMFAIDS.

Correction made on Feb. 3, 2015: The priest said he was going for a walk [faire la marche], not that he was going to the market [aller au marché] when he met the young man.

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 [email protected]

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