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Published On: Tue, Jul 16th, 2013

Eric Ohena Lembembe, gay activist, found dead in Cameroon home ‘burned with iron’

Eric Ohena Lembembe, a prominent gay activist in Cameroon for the rights was found dead in his apartment in the capital of Yaoundé, soon after he wrote about attacks in the country on organizations that support homosexuals, Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Tuesday.

Crime Scene Tape photo/editted pic from FBI.gov

Crime Scene Tape photo/editted pic from FBI.gov

The rights group, which has collaborated with Lembembe on reports, said his body was discovered by friends who had gone to his home after they had been unable to reach him by telephone for several days.

Authorities claim his front door was padlocked on the outside, but through the window his friends could see his body on the bed, and alerted the police, who broke down the door.

According to one friend, the Human Rights Watch statement said, Mr. Lembembe’s neck and feet appeared to have been broken, and his face, hands and feet had been burned with an iron.

“We don’t know who killed Eric Lembembe, or why he was killed, but one thing is clear: The Cameroonian authorities’ utter failure to stem homophobic violence sends the message that these attacks can be carried out with impunity,” Neela Ghoshal, a senior L.G.B.T. rights researcher for Human Rights Watch, said in the statement.

In his last blog entry this month for a Web site to which he contributed, Erasing 76 Crimes, Lembembe described attacks on groups that support gays and lesbians, the latest of which targeted the Access Center of Alternatives-Cameroon.

“At about 7 a.m. on June 26, the staff discovered flames coming from the office of paramedics/psychosocial counselors. Firefighters did not respond to the blaze, nor did neighbors. The center was consumed by the fire. Although no one was killed, most of the equipment (desks, chairs, computers, fans, patients’ medical records, cooking utensils, etc..) was completely destroyed,” Franz Mananga, a director of the center, was quoted as saying in Mr. Lembembe’s report.

“Cameroonian officials show no signs that they are aware of the problem. No one has denounced the attacks. No one has visited the scenes of the fire and the burglaries,” Lembembe wrote in the post, published on July 5.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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