Cameroon: 7 arrested in anti-gay house raid

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Seven people have been arrested on homosexuality-related charges, after police raided a house in Cameroon’s capital of Yaoundé.

According to 76crimes, the police arrested the men after smashing down the door and discovering men engaged in “prostitution and homosexual acts”.

The anonymous owner, known as ‘XX’ and fellow participant of the house escaped via the roof of the house and subsequently avoided arrest.

The raid came after the police were alerted by neighbours of XX, who reported that the home was frequented by ‘effeminate homosexuals’.

The police officer leading the arrests, Donatus Sembe said : “Lesbians, gay men, men who sleep with men, women who sleep with women, men who act that way — all that is illegal. These are people who are controlled by an evil spirit.”

Sembe added that the men would all face prosecution, and that the house’s owner was a “repeat offender”.

Cameron’s penal code, article 347 punishes “sexual relations between persons of the same sex” with up to five years in prison. Amnesty International says that arrests of gay people have increased since 2005.

Last year Cameroonian human rights lawyer Alice Nkom said that life for Cameroon’s gay population had become a lot harder, following the murder of LGBT rights campaigner Eric Ohena Lembembe.