Gay activist tortured, killed in Cameroon

Human Rights Watch has accused the authorities of failing to do anything, sending a message gay people can be murdered without consequence

Gay activist tortured, killed in Cameroon
16 July 2013

A Cameroon gay activist was tortured and killed, it was revealed today (16 July).

Eric Ohena Lembembe’s body was discovered by his friends at his home in the capital Yaounde on Monday evening after he had unreachable for two days.

According to the Human Rights Watch, the friends found his front door padlocked on the outside but could see Lembembe’s body lying on his bed through the window.

According to one friend, Lembembe’s neck and feet appeared to have been broken, and his face, hands, and feet had been burned with an iron.



The attack happened weeks after Lembembe issued a public warning about the threat posed by ‘anti-gay thugs’.

Despite the friends of Lembembe having approached the police, the authorities have yet to launch an investigation.

‘We don’t know who killed Eric Lembembe, or why he was killed, but one thing is clear: the Cameroonian authorities’ utter failure to stem homophobic violence sends the message that these attacks can be carried out with impunity,’ Neela Ghoshal, senior LGBT researcher at Human Rights Watch, said.

‘The police should not rest until the perpetrators of this horrific crime are brought to justice.

‘President Biya should break his silence on the wave of homophobic violence in Cameroon and publicly condemn this brutal attack.’

Ghoshal paid tribute to Lembembe, calling him an ‘inspiring activist’.

An author and legal expert, his organization documented arrests, violence and blackmail against LGBTI people in Cameroon.

‘Advocating for equal rights in Cameroon, where LGBTI people face severe discrimination and violence, takes tremendous courage. Eric’s activism paved the way for a society based on equality and nondiscrimination,’ Ghoshal said.

In Cameroon, homosexuality is punishable by prison terms of up to five years.

As the country prosecutes more people for being LGBT than anywhere, it is often described as the worst place in the world to be gay.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Stonewall: We’ve come a long way but much more remains to be done in business arena

At its annual Workplace Conference, Stonewall’s chief executive, Ruth Hunt, said that the organization’s Workplace Equality Index will now include questions about transgender equality
No thumbnail available

Korean star supporting trans student faces vile attacks

Jonghyun’s display of solidarity with a transgender student drives a conservative group to post nude photos on fan sites
No thumbnail available

Teen boy comes out to his big sister, big sister is ridiculously cool

Has anyone ever so calmly wiped their face in the front of a life-changing moment before?
No thumbnail available

All-American Boy singer Steve Grand talks about his five years in gay conversion therapy

'I was so consumed by the voices ... of my parents telling me I need to change'
No thumbnail available

Radio DJ tells father he should have daughter 'raped' straight

Cleveland radio personality offers homophobic advice to father of young teen girl
No thumbnail available

Olly Murs drops cake then feeds it to hungry gay fans

British pop sensation Olly Murs celebrates number one hit Troublemaker with gig at London's G-A-Y nightclub
No thumbnail available

LA Pride Parade brings many thousands to West Hollywood

Chaz Bono, Molly Ringwald, Betty DeGeneres, NeNe Leakes aming the celebrities who take part
No thumbnail available

Calls for gay rights protest at Fred Phelps’ funeral

While some have called for the leader of the 'God Hates Fags' Westboro Baptist Church to be given a taste of his own medicine, Kansas gay rights campaigners believe the LGBTI community should take the high road
No thumbnail available

Milla Jovovich loves her ‘gay husband’

Resident Evil shares how she used to steal items from posh hotels with her gay best friend
No thumbnail available

Marriage equality advocates send message to Tasmanian legislator

Rally outside office of independent MLC Adriana Taylor in Hobart, Tasmania today