Over one hundred youth participated in a rally on the streets of Cameroon’s capital and posted "anti-gay signs on bars suspected of being gay-friendly", reports the Associated Press.
The rally organized Wednesday by the Association of Cameroonian Youth called for stricter enforcement of anti-gay laws. Demonstrators also placed signs saying "Homosexuals Forbidden" and "No Gays in Cameroon" on various school buildings.
Moving in four groups of about 40 people each, the demonstrators paraded Cameroon's green, red and yellow flag through the streets of Yaounde while distributing pamphlets and T-shirts with anti-gay slogans. They occasionally paused to speak to onlookers about what they described as the dangers of homosexuality.
Homosexual acts are punishable by up to five years in prison in Cameroon. [The organizer] said the Association of Cameroonian Youth was calling for authorities to increase the maximum sentence to 20 years in jail.
Recent years have seen an increase in arrests and prosecutions under section 347a of Cameroon's penal code, which criminalizes same-sex sexual acts. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and regional LGBT groups report that Cameroon already prosecutes more of its LGBT residents than any other nation in sub-Saharan Africa.
Cameroon is one of at least 38 of Africa's 54 nations that currently have laws penalizing same-sex relations or even sexuality. Four nations—Mauritania, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan—boast the death penalty for gays or same-sex activity. South Africa and Seychelles are the only African nations that protect LGBT rights. South Africa is also the only African nation to guarantee marriage equality.
In July, the prominent gay HIV/AIDS activist Eric Ohena Lembembe was tortured and killed in a case that attracted international attention. Lembembe was the most high-profile African LGBT rights activists to be killed since the January 2011 murder of Uganda's David Kato. Police have not made any arrests in connection with Lembembe's murder—but detained at least two of his former coworkers earlier this month.
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