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Cameroon: Three held for questioning in connection with murder of LGBT rights activist

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Three people were held for questioning on Saturday in relation to the recent murder of a Cameroonian LGBT rights, and human rights activist.

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

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

The three men who were held on Saturday were former colleagues of the late activist, a lawyer close to the case told the AFP.

“We don’t know what the police found,” he continued.

A lawyer acting on behalf of the Lembembe family, said the investigation was botched, and criticised the decision to question the three.

“Since we formulated reservations over how the investigation was conducted, they want to find any ‘guilty ones’,” she said.

An officer close to the case, also speaking to AFP, cast doubt on whether the murder was homophobic. He said: “We were at the scene of the murder. We have found a certain number of clues. There will be a rapid unfolding of events and people who believe it was a homophobic act risk being surprised.”

The first official response came from government spokesman Issa Tchiroma last week and said that journalists and civil rights groups had “launched attacks on our nation, dragging its image into the mud.”


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