March 20, 2013

Guilty by Association

Human Rights Violations in the Enforcement of Cameroon’s Anti-Homosexuality Law

I. Recommendations
To President Paul Biya and the Government of Cameroon
To the Parliament of Cameroon
To the Legal Department (Ministère Public)
To the Supreme Court
To the National Commission on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
To the Special Rapporteur on Prison Conditions and Pre-Trial Detention at the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, and to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture
To the United Nations Human Rights Council
II. Background
A Homophobic Environment
A Victimless “Crime”
Inadequate Legal Framework for Handling Rape, Sexual Assault, and Offenses against Minors
Law Enforcement Structures and Criminal Procedure in Cameroon
Anti-Homosexuality Laws and International Law
III. Case Studies
Cases That Have Been Finalized
Case Study 1: Jonas K., Franky D., and Hilaire N.
Case Study 2: E.A. and F.M.
Case Study 3: Jean Jacques E., Stéphane M., and John V.
Cases with Pending Appeals Following Convictions
Case Study 4: Marc-Henri B. and Bruno E.
Case Study 5: Roger M.
Cases Pending Before Trial Court or Pending Appeals into Preliminary Matters
Case Study 6: L.I.
Case Study 7: Samuel A. and A.N.
Case Study 8: Esther B. and Martine A.
Case Study 9: Joseph O., Séraphin N., N.N., and E.L.
Case Study 10: E.F., G.M., L.N., and R.X.
Cases of Arrests and Summonses Not Resulting in Prosecutions
Corruption and Extortion Rackets
Law as Pretext for Suppressing Freedom of Association
IV. Torture and Ill-Treatment
Torture and Ill-Treatment by Gendarmes
Torture and Ill-Treatment by Police
Torture and Ill-Treatment by Intelligence Agents
Torture and Ill-Treatment by Prison Personnel
Anal Examinations
V. Other Common Due Process Violations
Extended Stays in Custody Before Being Charged
Denial of Access to Counsel
Denial of Contact with Family
Biased Law Enforcement and Judicial Officials
Use of Confessions
VI. Beyond “Guilty or Not Guilty:” Impacts of Cases on the Defendants
VII. Threats to Defense Lawyers
VIII. Conclusion
Appendix: Ministry of Justice Statistics on Homosexuality Arrests