Police storm gay rights seminar in Cameroon
Police storm gay rights seminar in Cameroon

Police in Cameroon stormed a seminar on The Human Rights of Sexual Minorities, telling participants: "We don't accept that here."

Police raided a hotel in the capital Younde, where a three-day seminar was taking place.

It was organised by the Association of Adolescents Against HIV/AIDS, known by its French acronym as Sid'Ado, and members of the Association for the Defence of Homosexuals were expected to speak at the conference.

Homosexuality is illegal in Cameroon. Police have now shown that even talking about it is not tolerated.

"You applied for an authorisation to hold a meeting on the respect of persons living with HIV/Aids and I duly authorised it. However, the banners I see here now are talking of a seminar on the rights of sexual minorities. We don't accept that here, so you go and do it elsewhere," the online African Review reported sub-divisional officer Martin Locko Motassi as saying.

Motassi then ordered police to tear down all banners publicising the event.

He then became involved in an altercation with Sid'Ado president Stephane Koche, whom police escorted away from the seminar, according to the report.

Security officers also chased away seminar participants as fears of violence increased.

Alice Nkom, a senior member of the Cameroon Bar Association and an advocate for homosexual rights, said that a man who declined to be named but purported to be the president of an anti-gay group told her: "Madam Nkom, you who know the law, you should know that, in Cameroon, homosexuality is prohibited. God is seeing what you are doing now."