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Cameroon: Authorities ‘shut down gay rights workshop’

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  1. 10 points for trying folks, zero points to the authorities for closing it down. It is shameful!

  2. Paula Thomas 5 Apr 2012, 10:15am

    What is going on in various parts of Africa is nothing short of appalling and this is just the latest example.

    Whilst some of the blame has to be shared with the West for firstly political colonisation and more recenty economic and cultural colonisation, not all the blame lies there.

    It is certainly true that the role of the Christian Church has not been helpful but neither has the pan African movement, with its emphasis on African traditions.

    That said the role of US evangelists in Uganda and elsewhere is a major problem that needs to be confronted urgently.

  3. What about closing down corruption in Cameroon rather than human rights!

    1. Scot Lovely 5 Apr 2012, 2:51pm

      That would mean actually facing their own sins instead of finding scapegoats.

  4. The homophobia in Cameroon is outrageous. So dangerous there to be gAy. I wish there was more we could do. I wrote to the embassy here in Australia and he told me to target the French gay rights organisations as President Paul Biya spends most of his time there and would be embarrassed by a scandal. He suggested a cartoon lampooning him. I am not an artist though….

    1. Scot Lovely 5 Apr 2012, 2:52pm

      Some hope, France is so homophobic itself.

      1. France is ‘so homophobic’? What, like Cameroon? Like Saudi Arabia? Iran? Albania?

  5. Full congratulations to those seeking to pursue LGBT rights in Cameroon (and in other African nations) – it is them that seem to be forgotten in some of the anti-African sentiment that is seen on the PN comments boards sometimes.

    I hope Alice Nkom and those who support her internationally are gathering sufficient evidence and funds to launch a strong legal action against the heinous discrimination and bigotry in the name of the Cameroonian authorities.

  6. Paddyswurds 5 Apr 2012, 11:15am

    Whats to say that hasn’t been said a million times over about these brainwashed idiots. More corrupt American Evangelism……

    1. Scot Lovely 5 Apr 2012, 2:56pm

      There’s always a buck to be made out of the impoverished and desperate. Some of these rallies to see the American Evo’s cost over a months wages to attend, for he average worker.

      I doubt it cost a cent to attend the sermon on the mount.

  7. That is why, with the exception of South Africa, it is still appropriate to refer to the African continent as ‘Dark Africa’! To most Northern and some Western European nations, Canada, South Africa, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Uraguay, it’s the 21st century! Most of Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia lags behind by about 200-300 years. The rest of the world is (unfortunately) still so 20th century!

    1. This is why, referring to the entire continent with the exception of South Africa as “dark Africa” is ignorant.

      It does not take into account the strong actions of the likes of Alice Nkom and the various Cameroonian groups that are publicized here. Their actions are not those of “Dark Africa”. The actions of those preventing them is, but brushing away the good work that has been both pubcised in International and African media by Adolescents against AIDS (SID’ADO), Collective des Familles des Enfants Homosexuel-le-s (Collective of Families of Gay and Lesbian Children) and Association pour la Défense de Homosexuel-le-s, (Association for the Defense of Gays and Lesbians, ADEFHO) and concentrating on the actions of the authorities in this matter undermines the good work those groups have done. There are similar groups in most African countries.

      South Africa is also not the only progressive country in Africa on LGBT issues – consider Mozambique and others.

      Stereotyping does not help

    2. Only if you think it’s appropriate to refer to the UK pre-1967 as the Dark Nation too – let’s not forget how recently, historically speaking, decriminalisation happened in this country. Spain was even worse, 1979.

      1. @Rehan

        Exactly. We could also ask if the following were dark nations as recently as the dates they decriminalised homosexuality:

        Canada (1969), Scotland (1982), Bermuda (1994), Austria (1971), Ireland (1993), Isle of Man (1991), Norway (1972), Cyprus (1998), Gibraltar (1993), Portugal (1983), Jersey (1990), Australia (1994), New Zealand (1986), Fiji (2010)

        I would suggest most people would not have described New Zealand as a dark nation in 1985, Protugal in 1982, Isle of Man in 1990, Australia in 1993 etc …

        Also, would you say any of the following were in the same category as Cameroon?:

        Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Central African Republic, Chad, DRC Congo, Gabon, Sao Tome, Rwanda, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tajikistan, India, Nepal, Mongolia, Cambodia, East Timor

        All countries where you might (without checking facts or being aware of the nations) that they would have “developed” in a similar fashion to Cameroon. However all have

        1. decriminalised homosexuality, some relatively recently – some as far back as 1791. Some have introduced far more measures to try and ensure rights and freedoms for LGBT people – some have proposals (including of marriage in Nepal, Mongolia, Rwanda and other nations). Of course, more can be done in all these nations, but so can more be done in the UK.

          The label dark nation, dark continent etc is uninformed stereotyping.

          1. Yes, much more can be done in the UK. particularly concerning the education of its own gay citizens. Some of them seem to have no idea of the central role their own nation had in the homophobic laws existent in all those other nations…

        2. Stu, you date for Australia is incorrect. There are state laws in Australia concerning decriminalisation of homosexuality, not national laws. In South Australia, my state, the law to decriminalise homosexuality occurred in 1975. I should know because so many of us were active to achieve that! Tasmania was the last Australian state to decriminalise homosexual acts in 1997 after going to the United Nations.

          1. @Brenton

            The date I gave was for the entire Australian Commonwealth of states and territories to decriminalize homosexuality. I know many Australian states had decriminalised in advance of this, and I am sorry that this was not clearer.

            Despite the federal government passing legislation decriminalising gay male sexual conduct in 1994, it wasn’t until 1996 when the law in Tasmania prohibiting gay male sexual conduct was overturned by the High Court of Australia and then finally repealed on 1 May 1997, making Tasmania the last state to decriminalise gay male sexual conduct. Tasmania has since become the most progressive state, being the first to create a state-wide registry for same-sex relationships in 2003.

  8. Disgusting breach of human rights.

  9. Paddyswurds 5 Apr 2012, 12:57pm

    ….To call South Africa progressive is stretching credulity a bit, Stu.
    Lesbians are regularly “cured” by rap* and are often murdered and Gay men and boys “treated” by shoving a red hot Iron up their behind.
    An average of 45 people a day are murdered and the Townships are (who thought it possible) even worse now than under apartheid.
    The President, Jacob Zuma is as corrupt as any in Africa and is polygamous with, at last count, four wives although he only acknowledges two “First Ladies”.
    Rose tinted specs are all very well but sometimes they render us blind.

    1. Paddyswurds 5 Apr 2012, 1:02pm

      @Pink News…
      …… Words like Rápe and ánus are not allowed on legitimate comments but still the vile discourse of people like Keith and Aiden are allowed to vilify GLB people as and when they wish. Your editorial staff need to get their priorities in order, pronto

      1. I will come back to your comment about South Africa in a second Paddyswurds (trying to locate a statistic that will help demonstrate a point I wish to make in response).

        However, your comments about Keith, Aiden (and some others) vile comments is 100% fair, reasonable and they need to be tackled.

        The issue with Keith is being tackled. I know PN are co-operating with a very detailed police investigation into his hatred.

    2. @Paddyswurds

      I don’t disagree there are severe problems in South Africa. From a position of law, they certainly are progressive (the most progressive of the African nations). The changes that need to happen are cultural and not statutorily in S Africa; there is some cultural progress with the support of some eminent South Africans such as Tutu. Zuma could do a lot more re seeking cultural change (and can be significantly criticised for other issues including corruption and attempts to manipulate the courts).

      There are also brutal and horrific events against LGBT people in many other nations including the UK, Ireland, Chile, Spain, Holland, Canada, USA, New Zealand etc.

      Facts such as these highlight to me that South Africa is progressive (although much more work needs to be done):
      South Africa’s post-apartheid constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation, and on 1 December 2006 South Africa became the fifth country in the …

      1. … world, and the first in Africa, to legalise same-sex marriage

        In 1998, Parliament passed the Employment Equity Act. The law protects South Africans from labour discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, among other categories.

        In November 2006, Parliament voted 230:41 for a bill allowing same-sex civil marriage, as well as civil unions for unmarried opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

        Constitutional protections have been reinforced by the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court and various statutes enacted by Parliament. The Constitutional Court has upheld that protections extend to transsexual people.

        In 2000, Parliament enacted the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (PEPUDA), which restates the constitutional prohibition and establishes special Equality Courts to address discrimination by private parties. The Rental Housing Act forbids discrimination in housing.
        In Augst 2011 a taskforce was set up to tackle LGBT hate crimes.

        1. Paddyswurds 5 Apr 2012, 3:45pm

          ….It is all very well quoting the legal changes which are myriad (UN inspired and led) but the reality on the ground for GLB South Africans be they Black or White is horrendous. You skipped over those points…why?
          “There are also brutal and horrific events against LGBT people in many other nations including the UK, Ireland, Chile, Spain, Holland, Canada, USA, New Zealand etc. ”

          Don’t know where you got the statistic that Irish GLBs suffer horrific events because we here on the ground find them to be rare. granted you will have the odd drunken punch up on a weekend now and again but nothing comparing to the daily horror suffered by SA GLBs. The Last gay bashing I remember and am aware of was the one that began the downfall of the vile xtian harridan Iris Robinson. There were also a couple of incidents in Derry a few years ago but they were brought to an end when the perpetrator was imprisoned He was Scots btw.

          1. @Paddywurds

            I didnt skip over the fact that there needs to cultural change in South Africa, I clearly mentioned that. That is what is needed to ensure that the very good legal scenario (some of which they were the first nation in the world to achieve – which you seem to skip over) in South Africa actually impacts on all its citizens is for a cultural change. That cultural change would be inadequate by itself if the law did not protect LGBT – which it does.
            At the moment I am doing a study into criminal events affecting LGBT people for a qualification I have been studying for whilst recuperating, this led me to mention the nations I did where there have been horrendous attacks on gay people. I do not claim these have necessarily been in the volume that appear to have occurred in South Africa or necessarily as recent. It was merely an illustration that even in nations which are regarded as advanced (but might not have as developed a legal framework as South Africa!) there can be

          2. horrific assaults and incidents affecting people.
            Examples in the UK could include the Admiral Duncan bombing, the murders of Ian Baynham, Michael Causer and others.
            In Northern Ireland in 2008, 160 homophobic incidents and 7 transphobic incidents were reported. Of those incidents, 68.4% were violent crimes; significantly higher than for any other bias category. In 2010 there was the homophobically motivated brutal murder of Shaun Fitzpatrick.
            In the Republic RTÉ broadcaster and set designer, Charles Self was brutally murdered in his flat in Dublin, believed to be homophobic according to some reports. The case remains unsolved.
            There was also a homophobic murder in Phoenix Park in Dublin.
            The Garda Research Unit reported in 2004 that recent research conducted in Northern Ireland (Jarman & Tennant, 2003) reported
            higher levels of homophobic harassment and violence than recorded in other parts of
            the UK and Ireland. In a survey of 186 gay men and lesbians recruited through gay

          3. networks, 71 percent reported verbal abuse and 55 percent violence. Forms of
            violence experienced included being assaulted (18%), being targeted with a thrown
            missile (35%) and being spat at (18%).
            Research in the Republic revealed that A quarter of respondents had been the victim of physical assault due to their sexuality and 11 percent had been repeat victims (i.e. had experienced
            more than one such incident). Forty-one percent had been threatened with violence,
            35 percent had been chased and 9 percent had been wounded with a weapon.
            Seventy-nine percent reported being subjected to verbal harassment because of their
            perceived sexuality.
            The Garda ended their report stating “The Garda Síochána has recognised that a more sensitive and sophisticated policing response in dealing with crimes against the gay community is required; we need to tackle all crimes against all people – some gay hate crimes are brutal.”

          4. Also many of the changes in law that brings a framework to protect LGBT in South Africa may have been UN influenced, but it was led by South African people. The new constitution was written by South Africans, for South Africans and passed by South Africans. Yes there was support but it was very much a creature that they wanted. Equality was something they sought.

          5. @Paddyswurds

            Do you accept the figures from the Garda Research Unit?

  10. Amnesty International today released a report on the alarming human rights situation in Cameroon, accusing the government of gross violations spanning more than ten years – including killings and torture.

    The catalogue of abuses revealed in the report mainly involves repression of political dissent.

    “Political opposition is not tolerated in Cameroon,” said Tawanda Hondora, Amnesty International’s Africa Deputy Programme Director. “Any dissent is suppressed through either violence or abuse of the legal system to silence critics.”

    Amnesty International said that Cameroonian security forces habitually use excessive and unnecessary force – and the perpetrators have almost always enjoyed impunity.

    In late February 2008, security forces killed as many as 100 civilians during demonstrations against the escalating cost of living. Amnesty International has seen photographs and received testimonies suggesting that some of the victims were shot at point blank range, with no effort

    1. made to arrest them instead.

      “Unfair trials, intimidation and harassment, including death threats, are routinely used by the authorities to quash criticism from politicians, human rights defenders and journalists,” said Tawanda Hondora.

      “The silencing of the media is particularly worrying. If a journalist is deemed too critical of the government they are silenced — and radio and TV stations are shut down.”

      Journalist Michel Mombio was arrested in September 2008 and spent 10 days in custody. He was then transferred to the central prison in the capital, Yaoundé, and charged with fraud and blackmail. He was still in custody without trial in January 2009.

      Journalists covering street protests in February 2008 were assaulted by members of the security forces. The victims included a cameraman from Canal 2 International television, who was beaten and arrested and had his camera destroyed. He was only freed after soldiers forced him to pay them.

    2. According to the Amnesty International report, prison conditions in Cameroon are characterised by inadequate food and medical care as well as overcrowding. All too often minors are held together with adults and there is inadequate separation of males from females, which has led to sexual and other forms of violence and exploitation.

      Prisons are reportedly infested with rats and cockroaches and some inmates have resorted to sleeping in the toilets for lack of another place to rest.

      From UNHCR January 2009

      Clearly, Cameroon is a superb country with a “model” legal system. NOT!

      If you think it is, perhaps you should move there, Keith.

  11. Thanks for that comment, Dennis.

    The US State department say this:

    Cameroon, with a population of approximately 19 million, is a republic dominated by a strong presidency. The country has a multiparty system of government, but the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement (CPDM) has remained in power since it was created in 1985. The president retains the power to control legislation and rules by decree. In 2004 CPDM leader Paul Biya won reelection as president, a position he has held since 1982. The election was flawed by irregularities, particularly in the voter registration process, but observers concluded that the irregularities did not significantly affect election results. The 2007 legislative and municipal elections had significant deficiencies, including barriers to registration and inadequate safeguards against fraudulent voting, according to international and domestic observers. There were instances in which elements of the security forces acted independently of civilian

    1. control.

      Human rights abuses included security force killings; security force torture, beatings, and other abuses, particularly of detainees and prisoners; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; and arbitrary arrest and detention of citizens advocating secession, local human rights monitors and activists, persons not carrying government-issued identity cards, and others. There were incidents of prolonged and sometimes incommunicado pretrial detention and of infringement on privacy rights. The government harassed and imprisoned journalists, restricted freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association, and impeded freedom of movement. Official corruption was pervasive at all levels. Societal violence and discrimination against women, female genital mutilation (FGM), trafficking in persons (primarily children), and discrimination against pygmies and gays and lesbians occurred. The government restricted worker rights and the activities of independent labor organizations. Child

    2. labor, hereditary servitude, and forced labor, including forced child labor, were problems.

      The government took no action regarding killings by security forces during the 2008 riots, which resulted in more than 200 deaths, according to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

      There were credible reports that security forces tortured, beat, harassed, and otherwise abused citizens, prisoners, and detainees, although there were fewer such cases than in previous years. Security forces also reportedly subjected women, children, and elderly persons to abuse.

      Police were ineffective, poorly trained, and corrupt. Citizens viewed police as ineffective and often resorted to vigilante violence rather than calling police.

      The judiciary remained corrupt, inefficient, and subject to political influence.

      Government officials threatened, harassed, and denied equal treatment to individuals or organizations that criticized government policies or expressed views at odds with government policy.

  12. Scot Lovely 5 Apr 2012, 2:49pm

    Yoo hoo! Spot the fundies in Africa!

  13. It seems strange that Justice Ministry officials deny knowledge of an event involving authorisation (and deauthorisation) by the local prefect and people being arrested and then released without charge. Convenient lack of knowledge?

  14. Colonel "hot lips" Smythe-Fortesque 5 Apr 2012, 3:15pm

    From the Guardian:

    “Life for gay people in Cameroon became more difficult after 2005 when the Catholic archbishop made homosexuality part of his Christmas homily, blaming it for youth unemployment. High-profile Cameroonians, he alleged, gave jobs to those who favoured same-sex activities.”

    1. Colonel "hot lips" Smythe-Fortesque 5 Apr 2012, 3:20pm

      Now that’s a way to scapegoat I haven’t heard against us before. Usually it’s reserved for immigrants. Who knew there were so many of us that we were responsible for unemployment?!

      Of course, this pure hate speech, I would have been surprised except for what we have heard from other churchmen recently.

  15. GingerlyColors 5 Apr 2012, 4:01pm

    Typical African country.

    1. Do you mean typical in the sense that they have a determined group of people seeking LGBT equality?

  16. So Uganda

    Serious human rights problems in the country include arbitrary killings; vigilante killings; mob and ethnic violence; torture and abuse of suspects and detainees; harsh prison conditions; official impunity; arbitrary and politically motivated arrest and detention; incommunicado and lengthy pretrial detention; restrictions on the right to a fair trial and on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association; restrictions on opposition parties; electoral irregularities; official corruption; violence and discrimination against women and children, including female genital mutilation, sexual abuse of children, and the ritual killing of children; trafficking in persons; violence and discrimination against persons with disabilities; restrictions on labour rights; and forced labour, including child labour.

    That did not even touch the issue of LGBT rights, but sounds so much like the place Keith should live.

  17. Off you go, then. Actions speak louder than words.

    1. I’m sure Keith would feel very at home amongst genital mutilators, corruption, restrictions on free speech, discrimination, abuse and injustice.

      Entirely his sort of culture.

  18. Lumi Bast 5 Apr 2012, 9:43pm

    SMH at Cameroon, a sad, sad place

    I know for once that’s a place I wouldn’t want to visit. All African countries are pathetic, even South Africa which has mostly equal rights, is dangerous for LGB people.

    1. Fair enough – I daresay all these ‘pathetic’ countries would be just as glad you didn’t visit anyway, wouldn’t they?

      1. That’s sort of the point. It’s dumb to turn off potential tourism/business by the way bisexuals/homosexuals are treated there. I would love to visit Egypt, South Africa, maybe even Cameroon and some of the countries with cool national parks (for photography), but 1. It’s not safe for me to visit there 2. I’m not giving my money to the countries with anti gay laws.

        1. I do realize South Africa is gay friendly in their laws and Egypt is unclear on their gay laws but neither are safe anyways

          1. So turning our backs on the LGBT people in Africa is going to be so helpful to them

          2. Lumi Bast 6 Apr 2012, 5:51pm

            Not at all! My heart goes out to the LGB people in Africa and I wish there was some way to help them. What I’m criticizing is the country itself. I think what they tried to do was good, but unfortunately their country is pathetic. I still wouldn’t visit there though, being a woman, especially one that’s not so feminine.

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