A known homophobic ex-convict last month attacked and blackmailed a leader of the LGBTI organization Health and Human Rights Cameroon in Bertoua. In effect, the assault evicted the group’s leader from his house and deprived the city’s LGBTI residents of a meeting place.
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By Jacks Oke
At about 2 a.m. on Jan. 16, the administrative and financial director of the organization Health and Human Rights Cameroon (2HRC) was assaulted in his home by an ex-con.
The 2HRC leader, Krys (a pseudonym) had been discreet about his sexual orientation while he lived for several years in the city of Bertoua, working as a community leader and health adviser for LGBTI people, who would meet at his home.
On Jan. 16, while Krys was asleep, Meyo Bilounga Audrey approached the home, armed with a dagger. Meyo began beating on the door, screaming, “Hey, homo! You fag, open your door! I know you’re in there, you devil!”
Krys panicked and opened the door. Soon he found himself negotiating with the intruder, who demanded 250,000 CFA francs (about U.S. $475). Meyo began beating him and telling him that he would inform his entire family and his colleagues about his sexual orientation. Meyo also threatened to stab him.
Krys, who had 83,000 CFA francs (about $125) in his Orange mobile-money account, gave Meyo his phone and his password so Meyo could transfer the money to his own account.
But Meyo wasn’t satisfied with the 83,000 CFA francs, so he resumed beating Krys.
Krys suggested getting the money from a friend. Meyo agreed, so the two men set off to go to the friend’s house.
Once outside, Krys spotted a police patrol and cried out to them for help. Meyo fled, taking with him Krys’s phone, his computer and his keys. Meyo promised to return later.
Police recorded Krys’s complaint about his assailant, whose name he did not then know. That investigation has not ended.
As a result of the attack, Krys’s neighbors have learned his sexual orientation so they have declared him persona non grata. At present, he is staying with friend. He does not have enough money to move on his own to a safer city.
He and often human rights defenders at 2HRC are afraid was what might happen next. They also worry about how to help other LGBTI people in Bertoua.
“How can we protect vulnerable people if our own safety is not assured? “
- LGBTI in Cameroon: Soldiers attack, kill 1, injure 3 (January 2018, 76crimes.com)
- 4 rooms shelter LGBTI abuse victims in Cameroon (January 2018, 76crimes.com)
- Cameroon’s abusive 2017, hopes for 2018 (January 2018, 76crimes.com)
- Cameroon: Two women arrested for walking together(December 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Anti-gay military action in Cameroon: 2 arrests (
- Did homophobia or jealousy trigger Cameroon attack? (
- Cameroon: Homophobic attacks disguised as burglary (October 2016, 76crimes.com)
- LGBTI activists challenge Cameroon police harassment (April 2016, 76crimes.com)
- One arrest, one scam, one threat in Cameroon (February 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Another attack on a Cameroon activist; a plea for help (July 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Cameroon: Life of a gay activist turns to drama (April 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Cameroon: Human rights plea provokes death threat (March 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Quick response to new anti-gay persecution in Cameroon (October 2014, 76crimes.com)
- This blog’s archive of articles about Cameroon.