Cameroon: Over a hundred take part in anti-gay rally targeting suspected gay friendly bars
Over a hundred have taken part in a rally against suspected gay friendly bars in Cameroon’s capital, and posted anti-gay messages on schools and bars.
The rally was organised for Wednesday by the Association of Cameroonian Youth, and called for stricter enforcement of the country’s anti-gay laws, reports the Associated Press.
LGBT groups in the country already say that Cameroon prosecutes more LGBT residents than any other sub-Saharan African country.
Demonstrators placed some of the signs, which read “homosexuals forbidden”, and “no gays in Cameroon”, on various school buildings, as well as bars suspected of being gay-friendly.
The groups moved in factions of around 40 each, and paraded the country’s flag through the streets of Yaounde, whilst distributing anti-gay pamphlets and t-shirts carrying anti-gay slogans.
“A society without morals and ethics is a lost society. What’s accepted in the West is not necessarily good for everyone,” read one pamphlet obtained by the AP. “Homosexuality is a crime against humanity and a serious violation of human rights.”
One organiser of the event said it was intended as a “Day Against Homosexuality”, and was intended to be in remembrance of a 31-year-old student who was apparently “sodomised and killed by homosexuals” in August 2006 at a Yaounde hotel.
“It is a struggle to push the authorities to clearly assert our rejection of homosexuality as a nation, and to increase the punishment,” said the organizer, Sismondi Barley Bidjocka.
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Same-sex sexual activity is punishable by up to five years imprisonment in Cameroon.
Amnesty International says arrests under article 347 of Cameroon’s penal code – which punishes “sexual relations between persons of the same sex” with up to five years in prison – have increased since 2005.
According to a March 2013 report by Human Rights Watch, Cameroon has prosecuted at least 28 people for same-sex activity since 2010.