A gay man living on streets in Douala, Cameroon, sent a plea for help to attorney Walter Atoh, who is one of only three attorneys in Cameroon who accept LGBTI clients.
The message arrived after this blog’s March 2 publication of Atoh’s call for the repeal of Cameroon’s anti-LGBT law, Article 347 bis.
The homeless man was rejected by his family after his homosexuality became known. For his safety, his name is given here only as L. He was arrested on homosexuality-related charges, was represented by Atoh, was released on bail and then disappeared rather than face the prospect of conviction.
In Cameroon, the penalty for homosexual activity is up to five years in prison.
L. wrote to Atoh seeking help:
“We are tired to be humiliated. I, for example, after my incident I have to run away. All my brothers have rejected me. Am out here sleeping on the street but to no avail.
“People are still avoiding me because am feminine. [I] am very angry with myself at times but nothing can change me. …
“The worst is that am suffering for something I never wish for its just happen the way it is.
“I don’t know where such a feeling came from. So please, sir, help us.”
Atoh, based in Kumba, says that his campaign for the repeal of Article 347 bis is his way of trying to help L. and other sexual minorities in Cameroon.
- Plea to to Pope: Restrain Cameroon’s gay-bashing Catholics (Feb. 10, 2016, 76crimes.com)
- 91 anti-LGBT attacks and violations: Cameroon’s 2015 tally (Jan. 1, 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Cameroon lawyer beaten up for defending gay man (December 2015, 76crimes.com)
- LGBTI life improves in homophobic Cameroon (July 2015, 76crimes.com)
- ‘Corrective rape’ in Cameroon: 4 women, 5 rapists, 0 arrests (February 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Priest, young man arrested; Cameroon police seek bribe (January 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Bribe frees 2 from jail, not from Cameroon neighbors (June 2014, 76crimes.com)
- Beating death of LGBT activist Eric Lembembe in Cameroon (July 2013, 76crimes.com)
- Gays in Cameroon, beware this blackmailer (May 2013, 76crimes.com)