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Cameroon arrests seven for gay sex

Cameroon arrests seven for gay sex

Seven men were arrested in Cameroon yesterday on homosexuality charges in a raid on a house where police said they were engaging in prostitution and gay sex.

Neighbors told police that effeminate men often visited the house in the capital Yaoundé. Police had been tailing the men for some time and waited until the group was gathered in the house, then broke down the door and found men engaged in gay sex.

The owner of the house escaped to the roof and avoided arrest.

The Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS (Camfaids) interviewed the police and the men and provided an account of the arrests to the Erasing 76 Crimes blog.

The men were the first to be arrested on homosexuality charges in seven months and were charged with gay sex, prostitution and pimping. All of them had previously served time at Yaoundé Central Prison on similar charges.

Donatus Sembe, the police officer in charge of the case, said they would not negotiate the release of the prisoners and that the cases would be handed over for prosecution.

He said, ‘Lesbians, gay men, men who sleep with men, women who sleep with women, men who act that way — all that is illegal. It’s non-negotiable, except at the prosecutors’ office. These are people who are controlled by an evil spirit.’

Cameroon punishes gay sex with up to five years in jail and a fine, and according to human rights groups arrests more gay people than any other country.