Cameroon: Online Incitement Against LGBT People in Cameroon

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Planned Visit by French LGBTQI+ Expert Met with Online Hate hrw: Cameroon

are all too aware of homophobic rhetoric and violent attacks against them. This has been highlighted once again in the outpouring of vitriol before a scheduled visit by Jean-Marc Berthon, the French ambassador for the Rights of LGBT+ Persons.

Berthon was due to visit Cameroon later this month for an event on gender and sexuality hosted by the French Institute in Yaoundé, the capital. Cameroon's government officially registered its objection to the visit, and Foreign Minister Lejeune Mbella Mbella said in the media that the visit would contravene Cameroonian law, which forbids consensualSince the visit was announced, many people have called for mob justice and violence against LGBT persons on social media.

Tamu , an LGBT activist living in Yaoundé, told me,"The situation is very tense. People are scared. Everywhere you go you hear: 'We have to burn them all.' ... There are young [LGBT] people calling me from everywhere. They don't know what to do." The foreign minister claimed that there are no LGBT people in Cameroon, which is patently false. LGBT groups exist in Cameroon and several even manage to work with the government on initiatives to combat HIV/AIDS. Buton upholding the rights of LGBT people. Security forces have failed to protect LGBT people from violence and in some instances have been responsible for acts of violence, or complicit in them.


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