Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE POLITICAL BRIEF

French presidential elections: A historic first-round result

Read more

FOCUS

Southern Border Plan: Mexico's own fight against illegal immigration

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A drug in Mayotte turning people into zombies; and the violent expulsion of a waterside community in Lagos

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

Prostitution in Pattaya: Cleaning up Thailand's 'Sin City'

Read more

THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

Will the left and right rally to see off far-right Le Pen?

Read more

THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

Who are Le Pen and Macron's voters?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French press review: Macron 'a step away' from Elysée Palace

Read more

ENCORE!

Papa Wemba: Remembering the music and style icon, one year on

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US in budget showdown over Trump's border wall

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

2017-04-21 France

Battle to stop nuclear waste being buried in a French village

The village of Bure, in eastern France, has become a battleground for environmentalists. It has been chosen as a site to bury radioactive waste, 500 metres underground. An...

Read more

2017-04-14 France

How sick are French hospitals?

Doctors, nurses, nursing aides, executives and even managers… They chose to work in public hospitals to be able to treat people from all walks of life – from the homeless to...

Read more

2017-04-07 French Presidential Elections 2017

Disillusioned French voters speak out ahead of elections

Back in 2012, we went to meet French voters from all walks of life who told us of their hopes and fears. We met Fabrice, a factory worker; Ahdijah, a social worker; Lionel, a...

Read more

2017-03-31 Holocaust

Video: 'If I ever come back', a French schoolgirl's letters from the Holocaust

"If I ever come back" tells the tragic story of Louise Pikovsky, a French schoolgirl who was deported and died at Auschwitz. Using long-forgotten letters Louise wrote to her...

Read more

2017-03-23 Europe

Video: Crimean dissidents silenced by Moscow

Three years after the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, Russia has deployed all the tools at its disposal, in the police and the justice system, to silence...

Read more