Lesbian sex tape boosts human rights abuses in Cameroon

Sexually explicit lesbian videos showing a former star of the national women’s soccer team and her partner spread widely in Cameroon last week. In response, social media sites were ablaze with people claiming to be outraged. Online and off, discrimination and insults against LGBTI people in Cameroon intensified, and police made arbitrary arrests of several gay and trans Cameroonians.

Gaëlle Enganamouit (Photo couirtesy of Sport News Africa)

The videos showing Gaelle Enaganouit, the former forward team manager of the Indomitable Lions, could put her at risk of prosecution under Cameroon’s anti-homosexuality law.

Article 347-1 of the Cameroonian penal code states: “Any person who has sexual intercourse with a person of the same sex shall be punished with an imprisonment of six (06) months to five (05) years and a fine of twenty thousand (20,000) to two hundred thousand (200,000) [CFA] francs” (about US $35 to $350).

According to the news website CoupsFrancs.com, the advocacy group Stand Up Against the Decriminalization of Homosexuality yesterday filed a complaint in court in Yaoundé, Cameroon, accusing her and Brenda Ahanda of the “practice of homosexuality”.

Reportedly Enaganouit has left the country and traveled to France.

LGBTI rights activists have noticed an upswing in violations of the human rights of LGBTI citizens, including five arbitrary arrests of gay and transgender people in Douala.

Activists have been forced to defend their personal security more rigorously.

Mix (pseudonym), a lesbian rights activist, stated: “I have been living in lock-up since the beginning of this story, I can no longer go out for fear of being attacked by neighbors and young people in the neighborhood. They call me Enganamouit’s sister, Mama Scissors.”

The national human rights watchdog project Unity and its member associations are urging Cameroonians to show more tolerance and have advised LGBTI community members to be cautious and discreet.

Written by Courtney Stans

Courtney Stans is the pseudonym for a Cameroonian human rights defender whose name is withheld for her protection. She fills the role of reporter covering LGBTI issues in Cameroon, where our previous reporter, Eric Ohena Lembembe, was murdered in July 2013. Contact her by email via [email protected]

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