Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Cameroonian security forces are not protecting people from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex, or LGBTI, violent attacks and are instead arresting victims.
HRW said in a report this week that violence and abuse against LGBTI people in Cameroon has increased as authorities continue to arrest and detain LGBTI and suspected LGBTI individuals.
The report said that since March 9, security forces have arbitrarily arrested and detained at least six LGBTI people and 11, and all those arrested and detained for alleged consensual same-sex conduct. and were the victims of group attacks for gender non-conformity. The HRW reported that the officers thrashed two of those taken into custody.
Human Rights Watch Central Africa researcher Ilaria Allegrozzi said Cameroonian police failed to protect LGBTI people from mob violence, arbitrary arrest and detention, violence against LGBTI people and book perpetrators of mob violence against LGBTI people. has been
“The law criminalizing same-sex relationships is [a] Repressive, harsh backward laws that not only violate Cameroon’s obligation under national and international laws, but also contribute to creating an environment of violence to institutionalize an atmosphere of hatred against LGBTI people. “And criminalizing same-sex. Conduct leaves LGBTI people vulnerable to violence at the hands of ordinary citizens as well as law enforcement officers.”
The HRW report said that on April 10 a mob of about eight people armed with axes, knives, sticks and wooden planks attacked a group of at least 10 LGBTI people at a group in Mesasi, the Cameroonian capital. Were attending a party in a private house. , yound.
HRW reported that a local official took two of the victims to the GenderMarys for protection from the mob, but that Gender had beaten and humiliated LGBTI individuals and released them after paying a bribe of $24.
The other victims remained in the hands of the violent mob for at least two hours. HRW said some were injured and their money and phones were confiscated by the mob.
Shashan Mabinglo, a lawyer and member of the Cameroon Bar Council, a union of lawyers, said the rights violations of LGBTI people are rampant in Cameroon because the central African country criminalizes same-sex relationships.
“They (HRW) will say that our law is discriminatory, unfair, but they forget that our laws are not only derived globally on the principles of justice, fairness, equality, but are based on traditions and customs,” says Mabinglow. Said. “Laws don’t allow, laws don’t accommodate, laws are against LGBTI. Most of them (LGBTI individuals) think that it is normal on social media to forget that they expose themselves to assaults and attacks.”
On state broadcaster CRTV, Cameroonian police denied HRW’s allegations that they abused the rights of LGBTI individuals. Police said they are there to enforce the laws and protect all citizens from violence and cruelty.
Under Cameroon’s penal code, people found guilty of homosexual relations can face up to five years in prison.
HRW said that by criminalizing LGBTI relations, Cameroon not only violates its obligations under national and international law but also condemns an atmosphere of violence and hatred against LGBTI people.