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Five LGBT activists ordered to have anal examinations in Cameroon

Their lawyer told them not to turn up to the exams

By Steve Brown

Five LGBT activists have been ordered to return to prison for anal exams in Cameroon.

Police arrested the five men who work for the HIV and LGBT+ rights organisation Avenir Jeune de l’Ouest [Youthful Future of the West] last month but were released after their lawyer argued their mental health would suffer.

Organisations, including Global Fund, pooled together to get lawyer Jatan Ndongo to negotiate the men’s release.

Staff from the HIV organisation wrote on Facebook: “Our executive director’s health is already in an alarming state [due to the imprisonment] and our other peers are also fragile.

“We can imagine the psychological damage they have suffered following this brutal imprisonment.”

However, according to the report in 76 Crimes, the men have been ordered to be subject to anal exams – a system outlawed around the world but some countries still use it to prove a man’s homosexuality.

Forced anal examinations are a long-discredit 19th century science and involves doctors forcibly inserting their fingers and sometimes other objects into a person’s anus.

It attempts to find out whether a person has had anal intercourse. The General Assembly of the World Medical Association (WMA) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) called for the practice to be stopped.

The practice has been described as a form of torture by the United Nations.

Although the five men have been ordered to undergo the anal examinations, Ndongo told his clients not to turn up to the anal exams.

Cameroon is considered one of the worst places in the world for LGBT+ people as they face arrests, mob violence, assaults, torture and murder.

People convicted of homosexuality can face jail terms of up to five years.