Gendarmes in Cameroon won the dishonor of being selected as Homophobes of the Week by launching a gay-hunting expedition that raided a bar and a movie house, arresting 25 people, beating them with batons, and jailing them for nearly two days without charges.
Their leader, Police Commandant Parfait Nana, claimed hypocritically that he is not prejudiced about LGBT people:
“Personally, I do not judge anyone and do not condemn anyone on the basis of their sexual orientation. However, Cameroon has laws to enforce.“
The law prohibits same-sex intercourse, but Nana and many others act as if it prohibits same-sex attraction. He led a raid that targeted a gay cinema and a gay-friendly cabaret where no one was breaking the law; the people there were just being themselves.
For more information:
- An appeal for the men’s release is here: Campaign: Free the Yaoundé 23.
- The story about their release is here: Cameroon: The Yaoundé 23 have been set free
Yaoundé police beat out the following nominees for Homophobe of the Week — each of whom deserves international disdain:
- Police in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, who have held a 26-year-old man in jail for nine months without trial because he refused to pay a $415 bribe.
- A Chechen mullah who conducted an exorcism in an attempt to turn a lesbian straight.
- The Kenya Film Classification Board, which banned the Kenyan film “Rafiki” about two women in love, although it earned a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival.