Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Men accused of being homosexual in hiding

By Tanji Ntonifor
Homosexuality, which is legal in some developed countries, is a crime in Cameroon despite pressure from the West on African countries   to legalize the same-sex sexual orientation.   The publicity given same-sex orientation in the developed world appears to be encouraging young Cameroonians to embrace the act.

Lorenzo Eladnyuke Ewunkem
     Before, it was rarely a subject of public interest-it was largely considered a taboo subject; but now not only is it discussed, cases of this abominable act are reported here and there, in a country where more than 51 percent of the total population is made-up of women.

In the past, those found guilty of homosexuality or lesbianism were badly treated, such mistreatment reserved for witches and wizards .And in some villages they were even banished.

    According to Section 347 of Cameroon penal code, "Whoever has sexual relationship with a person of the same sex shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to five years and a fine from 20.000Fcfa to 200.000 Fcfa"

    It is public knowledge that many young Cameroonians across towns of the country have been molested, accused, arrested, and detained or being prosecuted for allegedly being gay.

    Yet, many others are not deterred. Banking on the defense that it is their Human Rights to choose their sexual orientation, youth Cameroonians are bringing shame to their parents and communities, by attempting to practice or practice homosexuality. They argue that Cameroon is a member of the United Nations and has signed other conventions to respect and promote human rights and that sexual orientation is   human Right issue.

    Amnesty International has repeatedly condemned Cameroon for prosecuting persons perceived to be homosexual or lesbian, and called on the Government to repeal the law making same-sex sexual orientation a crime, but Cameroon is yet to do that. And there are no signs that Cameroon will legalize it.

    Reports say many young people are increasingly becoming gay for occultist reasons-to become very influential, wealthy and powerful in their localities.

Last November - a young man Lorenzo Eladnyuke Ewunkem, born on December 14, 1990, resident in Buea was almost lynched because he was accused of being a homosexual. It was thanks to the intervention of security agents that he survived.

Nyongapsen Gilbert Sema
    Lorenzo Eladnyuke Ewunkem was accused of engaging in the same-sex relations with an even older man,Nyongapsen Gilbert Sema ,born on November 25,1988. Gilbert was said to be his “wife”

   Although the two accused argued that they were not gay, they later disappeared as investigations were going on and some witnesses reportedly promised to disprove them in court

    It would be recalled that two young men, Jonas Kimie and Franky Ndome, perceived to be gay, had spent more than a year in prison following their arrest outside a nightclub in the capital Yaoundé in July 2011, but were later acquitted by the Appeals Court .It is true that same-sex relationship is in vogue in several Western countries, but opponents in Cameroon think it is not every thing that must be copied from First World countries.

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