GENEVA — The United Nations Human Rights office is sharply criticizing Cameroon’s anti-gay laws, which it says criminalize same-sex relationships. The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says it is deeply concerned by reports in Cameroon of harassment, intimidation, arrest and imprisonment of people on suspicion of being lesbian or gay.
The U.N. human rights office says Cameroon’s penal code, which criminalizes sexual relations with a person of the same sex, breaches the country’s international human rights commitments. It says this law, which calls for up to five years imprisonment and a fine for any person found in a same-sex relationship, also violates international human rights law.
Like many nations in Africa, Cameroon is a conservative society, where homosexuality is frowned upon.
U.N. Human Rights spokesman Rupert Colville says the U.N. is seriously concerned that the anti-gay law is being applied to prosecute people simply on their appearance, their mannerisms, style of speech or general conduct.
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