Cameroon: Stop Discriminating Against LGBT People

March 1, 2012

Jean-Claude Roger Mbede
Jean-Claude Roger Mbede sentenced to 3 years in prison for “homosexuality.”

Back in December, we told you about several countries where LGBT people are at risk, and Cameroon was one of the countries we listed, and we highlighted the case of Jean-Claude Roger Mbede, sentenced to three years in prison on charges of “homosexuality” under Section 347a of Cameroon’s penal code.

The situation in Cameroon continues to be dangerous for LGBT people, or those perceived as such. Since Amnesty began working on Jean-Claude’s case, at least two more men have been sentenced to prison terms for “homosexual acts” in Cameroon. We can’t let this discrimination continue.

Jean-Claude is scheduled to have an appeal hearing on Monday, March 5th, and we’re taking action—delivering petitions and reminding the president about all the appeals he’s already received—to make sure he hears these three things loud and clear:

  1. Love is a right, not a wrong, and Cameroon must stop discriminating against LGBT people and those perceived as such.
  2. Section 347a of the penal code, which criminalizes homosexuality, contravenes Cameroon’s obligations under the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and it must be repealed.
  3. The Cameroon government should bring about the release and ensure the safety of Jean-Claude Roger Mbede and all those imprisoned solely because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation.

Even if you’ve already signed the petition and taken action online, there’s still more you can do. For the rest of this week, we’re going to flood President Biya’s Twitter feed with these same three messages, so that he can’t ignore our calls for respect and freedom. Here are some sample tweets you can post and urge your friends to retweet:

Love is a right, not a wrong! @PaulBiya must stop discrimination against #LGBT people in #Cameroon & free Jean-Claude Mbede. #loveisaright

.@PaulBiya: Free Jean-Claude Mbede and others imprisoned on charges of “homosexuality”. End #LGBT discrimination in #Cameroon! #loveisaright

#Cameroon: repeal penal code Section 347a & decriminalize homosexuality. @PaulBiya: Stop discrimination against #LGBT people! #loveisaright

Love is a right not a wrong! Tell @PaulBiya to stop discrimination against #LGBT people in #Cameroon & free Jean-Claude Mbede. #loveisaright

Join me & @amnesty urging @PaulBiya to end #LGBT discrimination in #Cameroon & free Jean-Claude Mbede, jailed on charges of “homosexuality”.