Accra, Ghana
The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) is an independent non-governmental organisation created to ensure the practical realisation of human rights in the countries of the Commonwealth. We push for an adherence to the Commonwealth's Harare Principles and the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. CHRI was established in 1987 after several Commonwealth countries voiced their concern about a lack of focus on Human rights within the Commonwealth organization. CHRI currently has three offices; in Delhi, London and Accra. The Africa office was opened in Accra in 2001 and is at the forefront of the fight to uphold basic human freedoms in the region. We work in three main areas of human rights: Human Rights Advocacy; Access to justice and The Right to Information.

Thursday 2 June 2011

LGBT Situation in Cameroon

As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago homosexual acts are illegal in seventeen of the nineteen African members of The Commonwealth. Week by week we will continue to give you a rundown of the LGBT situation in each of these states.
This week is the turn of Cameroon which was criticised by a number of human rights organisations in March for imprisoning Roger Jean-Claude Mbede because he was gay.

Law that Criminalises Homosexuality

Penal Code (Law No. 65-LF-24 of 12 November 1965 and Law No. 67-LF-1 of 12 June 1967 

Article 347 makes it an offence for any person to have sexual relations with a person of the same gender, with the liability of imprisonment from 6 months to five years and a fine up to 200 000 CFA francs.

Practical Consequences of the law

In February 2006 a court in Cameroon jailed two men for a year after they confessed to having gay sex.[1].

On June 14, 2006 seven men who have been on trial for homosexuality in the African nation have been sentenced to a 10-month jail term.    Four women are awaiting trial on the same charges.[2]

Association for the Defence of Homosexuals
http://www.alicenkom.com/  is a local group which seeks to advocate greater recognition of LGBT rights in Cameroon.
Constitutional Clause on Equality or Right to Privacy

The General Assembly proclaims that  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to propose respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.  Article 1 affirms that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.  Under Article 2 all the rights and freedoms set out in the declaration are guaranteed to everyone without distinctions, including: race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.   Article 7 guarantees equality before the law and freedom from discrimination.

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