Cameroon: 2 lesbians had to pay $514 bribe for freedom

In northern Cameroon, two lesbians were arrested by Garoua police and forced to pay 300,000 (about U.S. $514) to regain their freedom.


By Steeves Winner

La localisation de la ville de Bafoussam au Cameroun. (Carte de Wikipedia)
The location of Garoua in northern Cameroon. (Map courtesy of Wikipedia)

It was September when police in Garoua surprised two women in their twenties who were making love on a vacant street.

Kaika, age 25, no longer attends school and has no career. Akan, age 29, is a businesswoman in Garoua. (Both names are pseudonyms.)

The two women have been dating for a while and live in different parts of the city. On the night of their arrest, they arranged to meet in the city’s entertainment district, visited  several night clubs, BS then retired to an abandoned street for sex.

A passing police patrol heard their cries of passion and arrested them.

The two women were taken to the police station and put in cells in preparation for their transfer to the prosecutor’s office and then to the Garoua prison to await trial for homosexual activity.

To avoid prison, the two women chose to negotiate with the police, who agreed to release both of them in exchange for 300,000 CFA francs (about U.S. $514).  They began making phone calls to their network of friends.

After two days, they had collected the money and were allowed to return home. Police warned them to break off their relationship or risk further trouble with the law.

The author of this article comments:

LGBTI citizens of Cameroon must take care to exercise their civil and sexual responsibilities. If they do not, they risk running afoul of the law.

By behaving in an exemplary manner LGBTI people show that they deserve society’s respect instead of being objects of scorn.

Steeves Winner, the author of this article, is an activist for LGBTI rights in Cameroon who writes under a pseudonym. Contact him at [email protected]

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]

3 Comments

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  1. The content of the article is shocking, and then the author of the article telling LGBT-people to “By behaving in an exemplary manner LGBTI people show that they deserve society’s respect instead of being objects of scorn” is in my opinion even more shocking! Not the way people love eachother is foul, the law that explicitly and specifically makes it illegal for people to love eachother is foul! I think that the more people openly show their love for eachother, the better it is! Yes, there are dangers to openly show your love as an LGBT individual, but telling people to behave exemplary (thus according to a foul law) means that people will be forced to lie about themselves! Giving in to a law that is sickening foul is wrong!

    • I believe the author’s comment had to do with having sex in public. He advocates refraining from it both to avoid trouble with police and to provide a good example deserving of society’s respect.

      He and I certainly agree that Cameroon’s anti-homosexuality law is foul!

      — Colin Stewart, editor/publisher of this blog

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