UN Secretary-General: Negotiate Unconditional Release of Men Imprisoned for Being Gay

Published: November 29, 2011

Please sign the following petition addressed to Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations and Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:

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Dear UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay,

We call on you to start negotiations with Cameroon President Paul Biya for the unconditional release of all the men imprisoned in Cameroon solely because of their perceived sexual orientation.

A Yaounde Court sentenced two men to five years in prison for their perceived sexual orientation last week. Another man, Roger Jean Claude Mbede, remains in prison serving a 36 month sentence for his perceived sexual orientation. All three men have been declared Prisoners of Conscience by Amnesty International.

Alice N’Kom, a Cameroonian attorney who heads the Association pour la Défense de l’Homosexualité (ADEFHO), writes in a letter:

"In the last two weeks violence against gay people in Cameroon has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels: the situation is quickly becoming a crisis. The president of Cameroon can put a stop to this, and if he feels enough pressure he will do so.

I’m watching police in Cameroon conduct an anti-gay crackdown – over 10 people have been arrested on charges of "homosexuality" in the last months. One of them, Jean-Claude, has been sentenced to 3 years in prison merely for sending a text message to another man. I’ve heard countless recent stories of homophobic violence throughout the country. I’m 66, and in ten years of defending lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) people in Cameroon, it has never been this bad."

Full text of artile available at link below –

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