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Autopsy delays slain activist’s funeral; donations still needed

Eric Lembembe (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Eric Lembembe (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

A revived police inquest into the murder of LGBT activist and journalist Eric Ohena Lembembe has delayed the scheduled date for his funeral until early August, his activist colleagues in Cameroon say.

Lembembe came from a poor family in Yaoundé, Cameroon, who cannot afford the expenses of a large funeral.

In his honor, many of his former colleagues hope to attend the event, so activists in Africa, Europe and North America are continuing to work together to raise money for it. (See details below of how to contribute.)

Police in Cameroon have apparently restarted an investigation into the murder, although it is unclear to what degree the police inquiries are aimed at finding his murderers instead of targeting homosexuals for possible violations of Cameroon’s law against same-sex relations.  Activists reported that the case had been transferred to a different police station in Yaoundé and that they have been questioned about both Lembembe’s sexual orientation and their own.

Last week human rights defender Alice Nkom and Lembembe’s colleagues complained that police had not bothered to investigate the murder.

“Police took no photos, collected no evidence, and there has been no autopsy,” one activist said.

Lembembe’s friends and colleagues hope to raise $5,200 (2,600,000 CFA francs;  4,000 euros; 3,400 pounds) to cover the costs of the coffin, hearse, grave site and grave maintenance, grave clothes and morgue expenses, plus rental of tent and chairs for mourners. The finances are being handled by Lembembe’s organization, the Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS (Camfaids), which works for health and rights of LGBT people.

Contributors can choose among several methods for sending donations:

By wire transfer.  Send the donation by MoneyGram or Western Union to Michel Louis Engama, the financial officer of Camfaids, in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Notify him by email of the transfer number and amount sent, so he can pick it up. Send the email to three addresses: camfaids@gmail.com, engamamichel@yahoo.fr and domston2004@yahoo.fr

By check, credit card (via telephone) or PayPal. Contributions to pay for the funeral will be accepted by the San Diego-based St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which will transfer the funds to Camfaids.  On the Web page for these donations, designate them as contributions for Cameroon.

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12 thoughts on “Autopsy delays slain activist’s funeral; donations still needed

      • Thanks, Great, funny (to me) reply! I see this all the time – first time i’ve said anything about it. Keep up the great work. FYI, MSMGF did post this on their Daily Digest.

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  1. Same sex through relationship. Throughout history `gays and bisexuals lesbians have been made fun of persecuted or killed .They have been branded as sexual perverts and filthy. People who are against same sex relationships should know that it is the make-up of people in same sex relationship to be what they are.

    Same sex relationships should not affect those who think there is only one accepted way of sexual relationships between a male and a female. If these people in same sex relationship do not go out of the way to condemn heterosexuals why should gays and lesbians and bisexuals condemn.
    Sex, they say, is hormonal. If ones hormonal impulse directs ones to go for the same sex, who are we to say it should not be that way? It is time the people of the world wake up and realizes that sexual behavior cannot be controlled. Either you are what you are or something else when it comes to sexual behavior.

    Those who support and advocate for same sex relationship are considered odd or eccentric and sometimes downright crazy.

    Let me state that gay rights activists do what they do in defense of the rights of gay people as long as such sexual practice do not infringe on the rights of others.
    People against same sex relationships think that such relationships are sinful, harmful, immortal and unnatural.

    It is the business of same sex couples to worry about that. If we are living in a global village and a free world, we should give those in same sex relationships the freedom we want for ourselves, as long as such freedom do not affect others.

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