While equality is being won for LGBT people in some countries around the world, we are reminded again that there are other countries still living in the Stone Age when it comes to human rights — and equality.
Exhibit A: Cameroon.
Many LGBT people in the global village are no doubt saddened by the death of Roger Jean-Claude Mbede, 34, who was imprisoned in Cameroon for sending a text message to another man saying “I’m very much in love with you.”
An Associated Press report on the Global News website says Jean-Claude developed a hernia in prison and was granted provisional release on medical grounds. But there are suspicions that he was denied medical treatment even after being released from prison, and he died within a month.
Says Nkom, a lawyer willing to defend suspects charged with violating Cameroon’s anti-gay law: “I accuse the state. If there had not been criminalization of homosexuality, he would not have gone to prison and his life would not be over. His life was finished as soon as he went to prison.”
The AP report also points out this: “Cameroonian officials have been unapologetic about their enforcement of the anti-gay law, and have rejected recommendations from the United Nations Human Rights Council to protect sexual minorities from violence. Appearing before the council in September 2013, Anatole Nkou, Cameroon’s ambassador to Geneva, testified that a prominent gay rights activist found tortured and killed last year died because of his “personal life,” prompting outcry from international rights groups.”
It seems the message is clear in that country: Gay people will be imprisoned and/or quite possibly killed. Why? Well, look to Christian fundamentalists for the answer to that question.
May Jean-Claude rest in peace, away from the hate and bigotry of one of the most ignorant, homophobic countries on Mother Earth.
“The great lost chord of modern civilization is forgetfulness of the fact in nature of universal brotherhood, which means not merely a sentimental or political brotherhood; it means that we are all of one common cosmic or spiritual origin, and that what affects one affects all . . .” – G. de Purucker