Target: Cameroonian Prime Minister Philémon Yang
Goal: Investigate death of prominent gay rights activist and repeal homophobic laws
Eric Ohena Lembembe was a prominent gay rights activist in Cameroon, an African country known for bigotry and hostility towards LGBT individuals. Just a few short weeks after warning of the dangers of violent “anti-gay thugs,” Lembembe was recently found dead in his home. Broken bones and burns indicate that Lembembe was tortured before being killed. His death represents a major loss in the fight for LGBT equality in Cameroon, a country where threats and violence against LGBT activists are common. The government need to ensure that Lembembe’s death is fully investigated, and punish the culprits accordingly.
Lembembe’s work as a journalist and as an activist has helped to draw attention to the difficulties faced by LGBT individuals in Cameroon and other African nations. Cameroon’s current government is very anti-gay, with homosexuality being punishable by up to five years in prison. In fact, Cameroon has prosecuted more people for homosexual activity than any other country in the region.
Cameroonian Prime Minister Philémon Yang must recognize that when LGBT people and supporters of equality are demonized as criminal it encourages the kind of bigotry, hatred, and violence that ended Lembembe’s life. Sign the petition below to demand a full investigation into Lembembe’s death, punishment for the perpetrators, and the repeal of discriminatory and homophobic laws.
Dear Prime Minister Philémon Yang,
Recently, gay rights activist Eric Ohena Lembembe was discovered tortured and murdered in his home. This isn’t the first case of threats and violence against LGBT individuals and activists in your country and unless you do something to change it, it won’t be the last. When your laws treat homosexuality as a crime, it paints a target on the back of every LGBT citizen of Cameroon. If Cameroon is to live up to its motto of “Peace, Work, Fatherland,” then this homophobic violence must be stopped.
It is absolutely necessary that the death of Eric Ohena Lembembe is fully investigated, and that those responsible are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This will send a necessary message that violence like this will not be tolerated. More importantly, your government must repeal anti-gay laws that treat homosexuality as a crime. This way, Cameroon can be a beacon of acceptance and equality instead of bigotry and intolerance.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: torbakhopper via Flickr