Amnesty: Cameroon Govt must stop the violence
A senior representative with Amnesty International has claimed people in Cameroon including LGBTI people are being subjected to a raft of abuses including unlawful killings and torture.
Amnesty’s central Africa researcher Godfrey Byaruhanga, who has recently visited the country, said political opponents, human rights defenders and journalists and LGBTI people were all being targeted by the authorities.
“It’s time to put an end to such blatant violations of human rights,” Byaruhanga said in a statement.
“The government needs to make it clear to security forces that human rights violations will not be tolerated – that the perpetrators will be brought to justice and reparations paid to victims.”
As well as highlighting the disgraceful conditions in Cameroon's gaols, an Amnesty International report highlighted how people are routinely arrested, detained and tortured because of their real or perceived sexual orientation - a situation which has grown worse in the last five years.
In one case Jean-Claude Roger Mbedé was arrested in March 2011 after sending a text to a man saying that he was in love with him. He suffered from malnutrition and regular beatings in jail, and his three year sentence was upheld in December last year.
Byaruhanga also pointed out that suspected homosexuals are subjected to forced anal examinations in the mistaken belief that sexual activity can be discovered by the process.
“There is no justification whatsoever for this illegal, degrading treatment. It represents a severe breach of medical ethics and has to end immediately,” he said.
Defence lawyers for LGBTI people have recently received death threats against themselves and their children for defending homosexuals.
“The government is adamant that it enforces the rule of law but has little to show for it on the ground. It has to prove that it means what it claims,” Byaruhanga said.
Image: Cameroon's capital Yaounde