Africa

Cameroon: Homophobic attacks disguised as burglary

By Jean Marc Yao

Two burglaries and a threatening note that the burglars left behind, stating,  “Dirty little fag, be wise … .”

Those  happened in the space of one month to Jules Eloundou, an LGBT activist in Cameroon. The events were  made public in a press release from Humanity First Cameroon, the Yaoundé-based advocacy group  where Jules Eloundou is the president.

A press release from Humanity First reported:

Jules Eloundou (Photo d'ILGA)

Jules Eloundou, president of Humanity First Cameroon. (Photo courtesy of ILGA)

“On the night of Aug. 5-6, the president of Humanity First Cameroon,  Jules Eloundou,  reported on his Facebook page a burglary that took place at his home in his absence. This burglary cost him a large sum of money and valuable property. The burglars also left a threatening letter, calling him a “dirty little fag”  and recommending him to be on guard, saying: “Dirty little fag, be wise … .”

“On the night of Sept. 8-9,  they returned, brutally smashed in the front door of the home, damaging it seriously. Because the previous burglary made him afraid, Humanity First’s president had asked one  of his friends to  keep him company while he raised  enough money to move out of that neighborhood. The presence of this friend, who was sleeping on the couch in the living room, prevented the perpetrators from entering the home. After he heard the brutal blow that almost forced the door open, the friend took fright. He began screaming to rouse the neighbors. The robbers had to flee. ”

The homophobic facts of these events are obvious. And, according to the press release from Humanity First Cameroon, “All this is obviously the result of a focused and prepared attack, having intended to harm the victim.”

These “burglaries” are worrisome and have to be treated seriously. We still remember that in Cameroon, Eric Ohena Lembembe, an LGBT activist, was brutally murdered in 2013.

Humanity First Cameroon has urged the Cameroonian government to investigate the burglaries that targeted its president. The group also called  for the repeal of “all discriminatory laws against sexual minorities that pave the way for abuses of all kinds.”

Jean Marc Yao, Ph.D., is a human rights activist in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, with a strong interest in LGBTI rights issues. He works with the Ivorian League for Human Rights (LIDHO), Alternative Côte d’Ivoire and the Lesbian Life Association Ivory Coast. Contact him by e-mail via 76crimes (at) gmail.com.

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