- Philemon YangPrime Minister, Cameroon
Urge Cameroon to Decriminalize Homosexuality
The UN Human Rights Committee has issued a call to the government of Cameroon to do away with laws that criminalize homosexuality and same-sex acts between two people. In recent years, the government of Cameroon has seriously cracked down on LGBT people, with police making arrests, and government officials using violence to target LGBT populations.
As Human Rights Watch reports, "Cameroonian and international organizations have documented abuses and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Cameroon. Suspected homosexual men have been arrested and beaten on their bodies, heads, and even the soles of their feet while in custody. Women suffer violence in their families if they are suspected of being lesbians. In some cases, they have been forced to leave their homes or their children have been taken away from them."
This type of institutionalized homophobia and transphobia is unacceptable. Send the Prime Minister of Cameroon, Philemon Yang, a message that his government should follow through with the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Committee, and decriminalize homosexuality and same-sex acts in Cameroon.
- Prime Minister, Cameroon
In July 2010, the UN Human Rights Committee implored the government of Cameroon to end prejudice and stigmatization against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and to ensure that public health programs have "universal reach and ensure universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support." Part of fulfilling this request from the UN Human Rights Committee is to decriminalize same-sex acts inside Cameroon. I urge you to work toward policies that do just this.
Cameroon is a State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). As such, the government of Cameroon is required to affirm the right to equal treatment and the right to equal protection before the law without discrimination. Laws that criminalize homosexuality -- which current laws in Cameroon do, with penalties of up to several months or years in prison -- do not complement such commitments.
Please, reconsider Cameroon's laws on homosexuality, and pledge to treat all of Cameroon's citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, with dignity.
Thank you for your time.
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