Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Posy Simmonds: 'French women have good handbags, English women have udders'

Read more

FOCUS

Security stepped up in Italy amid terror threat

Read more

ENCORE!

Music producer Uppermost: From the courthouse to the club

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Bulgarian president-elect hopes for lifting of Russia sanctions

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

30 years of Erasmus: Financing fun or funding employment?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

US policy towards Putin's Russia: A new era?

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Burmese policemen abuse Rohingya in a video, and a Malian is deported from France in handcuffs

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Donald Trump's busy weekend

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France's electricity grid under pressure amid cold snap

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. And you can watch it online as early as Friday.

Latest update : 2014-01-24

Cameroon: Where being gay is a crime

Homophobic laws are spreading on the African continent. In Nigeria and Uganda, homosexuality is severely punished. But it’s Cameroon that has the highest number of gay people behind bars. Our reporters Marc Perelman and Johan Bodin went to the capital Yaoundé to find out more.

In Cameroon, being gay is a crime, punishable by five years in prison. On January 10, Jean-Claude Roger Mbede died in his native village after a long illness. He was a well-known homosexual and was out on bail after spending more than a year behind bars. One of his lawyers, Saskia Ditisheim, says that his family “denied him treatment because of his sexual orientation and left him to die to get rid of the shame cast on the clan”. This death has further unsettled the gay community, already traumatised by the murder of Eric Lembembe six months ago. Lembembe, a gay rights activist, died at his home under suspicious circumstances.

According to Human Rights Watch, Cameroon is the African country that imprisons the highest number of gay people. "It is state-sanctioned homophobia", says Alice Nkom, one of the few lawyers who defends homosexuals.

“Unfounded accusations!” retorts Cameroon’s Minister of Communication. Issa Bakary Tchiroma insists that “homosexuals are protected and the government refuses to let them be attacked”.

However, the eyewitness accounts we gathered tell a very different story.

Watch our special debate: Gay Rights: Africa's anti-gay backlash

By Marc PERELMAN , Johan BODIN

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-01-13 USA

Video: Meeting Trump voters in Wisconsin

On January 20, Donald Trump will be sworn in as 45th president of the United States. With his promise of radical change in American politics, he won several states that until...

Read more

2017-01-05 Africa

Dadaab: Growing up in the world’s largest refugee camp

Located in eastern Kenya, near the Somali border, is Dadaab. This sprawling refugee camp is home to some 280,000 people, most of them from Somalia. Over the past 25 years, a...

Read more

2016-12-26 Middle East

Exclusive: Embedded with Iraqi special forces in Mosul

For more than two months, Iraqi forces have fought to retake Mosul from Islamic State group militants. A quarter of the city has been recaptured but the jihadists are still...

Read more

2016-12-23 migrants

Ferrette: The French village giving hope to migrants

It’s been almost a year since Ferrette, a tiny village in France’s Alsace region, transformed one of its old army barracks into a reception centre for refugees seeking asylum....

Read more

2016-12-15 Asia-pacific

Video: The Philippines’ ruthless war on drugs

Since Rodrigo Duterte took office in the Philippines in June, rarely does a night go by without dozens of bullet-riddled bodies being discovered in the streets of Manila. The new...

Read more