Eric Lembembe brutally killed this weekend (Picture: 76 Crimes blog) Eric Lembembe brutally killed this weekend (Picture: 76 Crimes blog)

Cameroon Activist Killed Following Months Of Violent Anti-Gay Attacks

By BTL Staff from Press Release

Prominent Cameroonian gay rights activist and Executive Director of the Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS, Eric Ohena Lembembe, was found dead in his Yaounde home on Monday night. His body had extensive signs of torture. The murder follows a series of attacks against human rights defenders and LGBT rights organizations in the country.

All Out (, the global movement for equality is calling on Cameroon's President Biya to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice and to publicly condemn this attack.

Lembembe, who was also a journalist, was a leading voice for LGBT people in Cameroon, fighting to tell the stories of LGBT people and organizations facing arrests, violence and blackmail.

"The global movement for love and equality is poorer for the loss of Eric Lembembe, because brave activists like him in Cameroon, and other countries where it's illegal to be gay, are an inspiration to human rights defenders everywhere," said Andre Banks, executive director and co-founder of All Out. "Fighting against brutal homophobia, Eric worked towards a day when Cameroonians did not have to live in fear because of who they are or who they love. To honor his commitment and his life, we call on President Biya to make sure these violent, deadly attacks against LGBT people do not continue, starting with the investigation of Eric Lembembe's death."

According to Human Rights Watch, friends found Lembembe's body after he had been unreachable for two days. One friend reported that his neck and feet appeared broken, and that his face, hands and feet had been burned.

Last month, arsonists set fire to the offices of Alternatives-Cameroon, a center that serves LGBT people with medical care in Douala. A few days earlier, the office of Michel Togue, a human rights lawyer defending clients charged with "same sex conduct," was burgled. He also received repeated death threats.

Just two weeks before his death, Lemembe decried these recent attacks on human rights defenders in Cameroon. "There is no doubt anti-gay thugs are targeting those who support equal rights on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity," Lemembe wrote in a statement published by Human Rights Watch.

"Unfortunately, a climate of hatred and bigotry in Cameroon, which extends to high levels in government, reassures homophobes that they can get away with these crimes," Lembembe wrote.

According to Human Rights Watch Cameroon, where homosexuality is illegal, prosecutes more people for homosexual activities than any other sub-Saharan African country. Homosexuality is punishable by prison terms between six months and five years, and cases like Lembembe's can go uninvestigated and unpunished.

Last year 130,000 people signed an AllOut petition calling on the Cameroonian President Paul Biya and Minister of Justice Laurent Esso to reverse the the three year jail sentence for Roger Jean-Claude Mbede. In 2012, Roger was found guilty of a crime for sending a text message to another man that said, "I'm very much in love with you." The petition also called for a moratorium on the laws that sent Roger to jail in the first place. Roger was charged and convicted under Cameroon's law that criminalizes "homosexual behavior."

"We are deeply saddened by this tremendous loss to our community," Andre Banks said. "Our hearts are with Eric's close loved ones. We will not rest until there is justice."

To see the live signature totals from All Out's petition visit


Cameroonian activists killed; the nation must respond:

MI Marriage Trial

Michigan Same Sex Couples Demand Respect And Equal Treatment

Michigan Leaders React To Feds Recognition Of Marriages

MI Marriage: Schuette Asks For Full Appeals Court Review

The Stay Delayed Allows 315 Couples To Wed In State

Gay Marriage Defines Schuette's Reelection Campaign

Snyder Says Schuette Going Against Trend

Sixth Circuit Continues Stay

Michigan Marriage Ban Struck Down

Michigan Makes History With First Marriages

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Aappeal

Pictures from Ingham County - Getting Married

Pictures from Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 1

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's office - Part 2

Pictures from the Oakland County Clerk's Office - Part 3

Pictures from Washtenaw County

White Nationalist Group Files Brief Supporting AG's Appeal In Marriage Ruling

Discredited Witness Part Of Right-Wing Cabal

Schauer Celebrates Overturn Of Michigan Marriage Ban

Equality Michigan Circulating Petition to Drop Appeal

Why Are Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette Wasting Michigan Taxpayer Dollars On A Costly Appeal?

Michigan Marriage Ban Co-Author Goes 'Moral'

BTL's Wedding Expo: Like Pride in April

Snyder Says Marriages Invalid

Elected Officials, Advocates Petition Schuette To Drop Marriage Appeal

Request To Remove Stay Based On Process And Substance

Schuette Lies To Satisfy Political Base

DOCUMENTS: The decision, the stay, and more

BREAKING: Holder Asked To Recognize Michigan Marriages

Michigan Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

BREAKING: Sixth Circuit Court Of Appeals Issues Temporary Stay On Michigan Case

BREAKING: Same-Sex Couples Across Michigan Get Hitched

BREAKING: Judge Friedman Declares Michigan's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

Judge Could Rule Late Today In Mich. Marriage Ban

Michigan Marriage Trial: And Now We Wait

Editor's Viewpoint: Our Long Journey To Justice

Federal Marriage Case Decisions Outside Michigan In Circuit Court of Appeals

Peers Distance Themselves As Regnerus Takes The Stand

Marriage Supporters, Protestors Brave Cold At Courthouse

Highlights From Michigan Same-Sex Marriage Hearing

Brown Says Schuette Instructed Clerks To Defy Court

Michigan Marriage Equality Trial Begins Second Week

Marriage Equality Trial Opens : Science v. Fear

Michigan Marriage Center Prepares State For The Possibility!

Michigan Marriage Case Begins

A Trial Full of Experts: Incredible and Not So Credible, In Hazel Park Case

like us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on google+