Eric Lembembe

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Eric Lembembe | 76 Crimes | 14164

Prominent Cameroonian gay rights activist and journalist Eric Lembembe, pictured, was killed in July 2013. Human Rights Watch reported that

Mr Lembembe’s neck and feet were broken and his face, hands, and feet had been burned with an iron.

Mr Lembembe was the executive director of the Cameroonian Foundation for Aids, a courageous activist who campaigned for equal rights, despite severe discrimination and violence. His friends discovered his body at his home in Yaounde, after being unable to reach him by phone for two days.

There have been other worrying incidents in Cameroon. The headquarters of Alternatives-Cameroun was burned down on 26 June; the Yaounde office of human rights lawyer Michel Togue was burgled and his legal files and laptop stolen; Mr Togue and Alice Nkom, another lawyer, have received repeated death threats including threats to kill their children.

In December, a Cameroon appeals court upheld the sentencing to 36 months in prison of Roger Jean-Claude Mbede under anti-gay legislation.


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David Kato

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David Kato | BBC | 14449

Gay Activist David Kato of Kampala, Uganda was killed on January 26, 2011. The local police said he had been killed in an attempted robbery but local gays were adamant that Kato was killed because he was gay.

Guardian | 14450

One of the few openly gay men in Uganda, and the most vocal local critic of the proposed legislation, Kato had told close friends of increased harassment since the court victory on 3 January, and of receiving warnings that people were going to “deal with him”. Frank Mugisha, a close friend and colleague at the human rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda, where Kato was the advocacy officer, said: “He mentioned increased threats – a lot more than usual. He was even directly threatened outside the court.”

Mr Kato’s funeral | Guardian | 14451

Kato began campaigning for gay rights in Uganda in 1998 when virtually nobody was “out”. Homosexuality was illegal, and offensive to most Ugandans. The gay rights movement in Uganda grew, with Kato and his colleagues at Sexual Minorities Uganda calling for gays to be included in national HIV-awareness and treatment programmes. The higher profile created enemies. Local religious leaders launched campaigns alleging that the gay community was seeking to “recruit” schoolchildren. Their efforts were boosted by visits from several homophobic American preachers.

Ugandan politicians then joined in. MP David Bahati introduced the anti-homosexuality bill to parliament in 2009. Besides calling for life imprisonment and the death sentence for gay people, the bill requires all Ugandans to report “homosexual activity” within 24 hours or face police action.


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