Eric Ohena Lembembe, a prominent gay rights activist, was tortured and killed in Yaounde, Cameroon on July 15th.
Just weeks ago, Lembembe issued a public warning about “anti-gay thugs” and the threats to they pose.
Lembembe was a journalist who became Executive Director of CAMFAIDS, a human rights organization based in Cameroon. He documented instances of violence, blackmail and arrests against members of Cameroon’s gay community. His work focused on African nations in which homosexuality is illegal, including Cameroon, where it is punishable by up to five years in prison. According to Human Rights Watch, Cameroon prosecutes more people for homosexual sex than any nation in sub-Saharan Africa.
One friend commented that it appeared that Lembembe’s neck and feet looked like they had been broken and burned with an iron.
The U.S. State Department issued this statement: “We condemn this terrible act in the strongest possible terms and urge the Cameroonian authorities to thoroughly and promptly investigate and prosecute those responsible for his death.”