UN officials condemn killing of LGBT and HIV campaigner in Cameroon

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

The killing of an LGBT rights campaigner in Cameroon has been condemned by the UN’s main HIV/AIDS agency.

In a statement on Thursday, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) called on the country’s government to thoroughly investigate the death of Eric Ohena Lembemb.

He was the executive director of the Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS and worked closely with UNAIDS.

The body of Mr Lembemb was found at his home in the capital city Yaounde on Monday evening, days after he had warned of increasing attacks on LGBT support groups in Cameroon.

“UNAIDS urges the government [of Cameroon] to send a clear message that violence, homophobic and discriminatory acts will not be tolerated,” the agency stated.

“It is unacceptable that in many countries people are subject to violence or the threat of violence because of their sexual orientation or perceived HIV status. Respect for human rights is essential in ensuring that all people have access to HIV services.”

The plight of Mr Lembembe was raised in the House of Commons during Tuesday’s same-sex marriage debate by Labour MP Diane Abbott.

Same-sex sexual activity is punishable by up to five years imprisonment in Cameroon.