News Brief

LGBT flag

Cameroon's LGBT Community is Facing Increasing Persecution

A recent report by Human Rights Watch has highlighted, with tremendous concern, the increasing persecution being faced by the LGBT community in Cameroon.

There are significant concerns over human rights abuses in Cameroon, according to a report shared by Human Rights Watch (HRW). The campaign group has highlighted the rising persecution of members of the Cameroonian LGBT community which have been documented over the past few months. Security forces in the country have been accused of threatening, assaulting and arresting queer individuals.


READ: Security Forces in Ghana Target New LGBT Rights Group Centre

According to the HRW report, at least 24 Cameroonians have been arrested since February for allegedly engaging in same-sex conduct or gender non-conformity. Among those arrested have included a 17-year-old boy. Additionally, some of the alarming violations have included forcing those arrested to take HIV tests and subjecting them to anal examinations. Moreover, these forces anal examinations have also been entered as evidence in court when convicting those charged with homosexuality.

Neela Ghoshal, the associate LGBT rights director at Human Rights Watch, comments on the report saying, "These recent arrests and abuses raise serious concerns about a new upsurge in anti-LGBT persecution in Cameroon." Ghoshal goes on to add that, "The law criminalising same-sex conduct puts LGBT people at a heightened risk of being mistreated, tortured, and assaulted without any consequences for the abusers."

Cameroon is just one of the many African countries where homosexuality remains illegal. The Human Dignity Trust writes this about the country's laws: "Article 347-1 prohibits sexual relations with a person of the same sex with a penalty of between six months to five years imprisonment, as well as a fine."

While Cameroon's laws outrightly criminalise homosexuality, progressive countries like South Africa have been forced to reckon with the continued gruesome murders of members of the LGBT community. Recently, a 40-year-old man, Andile "Lulu" Ntuthela, was murdered for being a homosexual by 28-year-old suspect and had South Africans demanding justice under the online banner #JusticeForLulu. Ntuthela's death follows that of Sphamandla Khoza who was also murdered because of his sexual orientation a little over a week ago in KwaZulu-Natal.

Interview

Malian Rapper Ami Yerewolo Rises Against All Odds

Ami Yerewolo reflects on her hard-won rap career, new album AY and why she insists on creating support spaces for young female rappers in Mali and beyond.

"No one is a prophet in his or her own land!" This is an accurate way to describe Ami Yerewolo's career to a tee. The Malian rapper's music has not always been popular in her home country, where female rappers are generally frowned upon. Instead, it has taken off abroad. Yerewolo's upbeat sound mixes traditional Malian elements with fast drums, contemporary beats and significant lyrics that compel listeners to reflect on life — all of which makes her songs carry a universal appeal. Her new album, AY (titled after the rapper's initials) has just been released by the label Othentiq.

Yerewolo shares her frank thoughts below...

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Vinegar Pap Smear Saving Women’s Lives In Malawi

This simple diagnostic test is giving hope to thousands of women in Malawi.