Speak Out : Killed For Being Gay


On January 10, 2014, we learned that Roger Jean-Claude Mbédé had died in Cameroon. Roger was sentenced to 3 years in prison because he sent another man an SMS that said “I’m very much in love w/u” – in a country where it’s illegal to be gay. ( yes, some countries are still living in another century!)

Roger died after being denied hernia treatment. In prison he faced physical abuse and medical emergencies. Out of jail he was attacked and turned away from employment, school, shelter and even critical healthcare.

Despite attacks and great hardship, Roger spoke out against Cameroon’s anti-gay law. He said he did it so that other lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in Cameroon would not have to face what he did.
At least 28 people had been charged under the law in the past three years.

Human Rights Watch described Mbede as ‘a courageous man who became an accidental activist’ after his arrest.

Roger lived with love but died without seeing justice for himself.

The world has to know Roger’s story, please like it on our Facebook page or retweet on Twitter!


There are 25 comments

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  1. Hunter0500

    In some countries you can be killed for speaking out against the government. In others, for speaking out too much as a woman. The atrocities are not limited to being gay, unfortunately.

    But fortunately, due to the internet and globalization, the trends are moving in the right directions. Often much slower than would be liked, but moving.

  2. Creepyperv

    So like, did the guy he sent the text to turn him in or something? Sounds like he was an idiot for loving him in the place.

    There are walls and barriers in everything we do. Learn to live inside them or suffer the fate of consequence.

  3. Angel Falls

    I read about this story when it came out a few days ago. Unfortunately, the whole continent of Africa is largely homophobic. Doesn’t help that American Christian groups are at the forefront in helping implement anti-homosexual laws in many African countries. Combine that with deeply entrenched anti-gay cultural attitudes and the result is not only repression but persecution. While certain countries in the world progress toward more egalitarian laws concerning homosexuals, many others are digressing. Even Australia struck down a nascent pro-gay movement. And India recriminalized gay sex. We all know about Russia and Africa. While in Latin America it’s hit or miss, with Argentina passing gay marriage laws, while other countries ignore the issue on a legal standpoint, while the cultures largely remain machista and homophobic. This poor man deserved a better fate, like so many other gay brothers and sisters around the world…

  4. Gaygaygay

    All over around the world include USA . They still hated gay . USA excepted gays afew years . But they still hated gay …. 100000000 years later they still hated gay and racist

  5. HowardAngel

    The US may allow gays to get married in some states and the attitude about gay sex might be tolerant among people due to more exposure but hatred can still thrive anywhere starting from our own community. Without the struggle and constant fighting for equality for how many decades so that we can be freely expressing our feelings and love in public settings some young gays still don’t realize the privilege of meeting gay people in such hookup sites like Adams or manhunt or the freedom to have gay sex so they continue to disrespect their gay brothers just because they are different or not straight acting masculine enough. Until you start to include diversity and love gays unconditionally from within, haters still have a chance to break us by feeding on our own hatred.

  6. mfd

    to creepyperv: I guess we shouldn’t expect anything less than a comment like yours. your screen name says it all. it’s unfortunate that guys like you still feel confined by others on how and who you should love. at least RJCM died having known and not being afraid to love. I hope you are able to do the same, creep, before it’s too late.

  7. Jack

    I am so saddened by this article. I have been beaten more than once for being gay in the U.S. that is supposedly gay tolerant. It is not! I am proud to have paved the road for a younger generation to avoid things as you and many others such as myself have suffered. It is a well known fact to this day, gay men are more prejudiced against than Black in this country but no one seems to want to fight for the same rights and same freedoms of life. I understand the hardships of Black people over the years but do they understand that of gay men? I think not,or they would not be so mean to their Black gay brothers and keep them on the “down low”.. I happen to be white but I don’t see the difference when it comes to color. If I can ever do more to free the gay men in this country or any other country I pray the opportunity be given to me. I am getting old but still have enough spirit in me to make a difference.

  8. Wayne

    Hatred and fear is every where, in many different forms, homophobia, racism, religious fanaticism, sexism and sometimes some of those things combined together, how do you stop people from fearing things they don’t understand? There are heroes / victims in every fight like MLK, JFK, etc., and this MAN is one of those heroes and whatever some people think, he was a MAN, a man who was brave enough to stand for what he wanted and die for it. Though I am sure dieing was not his plan, when you fight for what you believe in that is always a possibility. “Freedom Is Not Free” is the truest thing to ever have been spoken, no matter what freedom you are talking about, that saying though meant for military is true for all.

  9. darryl

    What sad about this is the fact that even in his own country, he is discriminated against for being who he is. Does that sound familiar? The continent of Africa has a long history of bigotry, and hate so this isn’t a shocker. When i heard of law against Homosexuality was granted, it not only sickened me, it made me think that cases like this would pop up. I hope it won’t become a horrible trend.

  10. Tim

    Meanwhile, in other news, our President (widely supported by gay money and votes) wants to allow more and more people from these frightening cultures in to our country. I see the women at the grocery store all covered up and cowering, I hear cabbies talking about “faggots”… You?

  11. Ed

    A couple decades ago here in my town a bar acquaintance was found dead, he was beaten to death. He had also been raped. Michael was a sweet man who was harmless to anyone. This also left him defenseless and fatally trusting. The positioning of his body indicated a hate crime and police acknowledged it. The police then did nothing. Despite dozens of tips, the investigation was at best cursory. One police source even said, “hey it was a faggot”. Sadly this behavior continues. There is no magic wand to eliminate discrimination, bigotry and gender identity hatred. There is however an enormous club our country holds. Money! Why do we have relations with nations that criminalize an event of birth? Where are all the “progressives” now that they got an overwhelming number of our votes last year? The level of economic hurt we can place on a nation if we really wanted to is enormous. What value is there in accommodating a regime that has no intention ever in acting like a civilized human being but rather uses religion as a tool of repression and murder. We need to go back to quid pro quo diplomacy and put our interests 1st and that includes making discrimination based on sexual identity verbotten!

  12. #SpotOn

    I wonder if this guy was feminine. Its always the obviously gay dudes that get targeted. I hate it for guys like that, but on the other hand if this was implanted in America less guys would decide to be feminine.

    *the out and feminine guys are gonna have a field day with this comment*

  13. Fairprince

    It’s sad , I live in the Caribbean years ago I left The islands lived abroad returned to find that the mentality about gay life style had changed for the acceptance to be a bit more tolerant by people , reason being many men were on the DL and many families now had young men who were out , as well as sad to say many had friends who were HIV positive ,I can now walk without hate comments coming my way if suspected to be gay , we live in a cruel world ,

  14. chancebran

    it is sad that rights and freedom still belong to the majority and those who do not choose the majority are left to suffer. nothing has changed, not for gays , not for women, not for blacks, not for jews. as long as power and money belong solely to those who embrace a patriarchial system, and as long as the few are ruled by the many, nothing will change. in this country gays were thrown crumbs, and hatred discrimination and violence remain part of the everyday experience for many-and the saddest part of that is gays separating themselves from their brothers and sisters because they-by virtue of homogenizing themselves, or by wealth, have separated themselves from those who readily suffer by reason of non conformity or obvious attributes, not caring or wishing to know or be part of the struggle as it no longer actively concerns them. where is the unity in this community? who are the mentors for the youth? where are the bards and the voices of legends that reiterate the struggle just to be who we are? so is it any wonder this poor man suffered so unjustly. are we not somehow complicit. think about that.

  15. Peter

    Feeling sad about that storie, sometimes I’m ashamed, because is my continent doing wrong stuff, our culture was mixed with cristian/islam and because that, we inherit some bad ideals.

  16. Keeping You Informed

    Just Keeping You Informed: In December of 2013 Uganda passed legislation that make it illegal to be gay and the crime is punishable by Life Imprisonment. It also made it a crime to fail to report an individual that is Homosexual. The original proposal for the bill wanted to make the crime of being gay punishable by the death penalty. It was Amended to just Life Imprisonment. Always be weary of those in power and know your rights everywhere you go, no matter what country you are a citizen of.

  17. amisty888

    What kind of Africa are we living in,we still behave as we are in the 18th and 19th,that is why nothing good has ever come to this continent,how can you take someone’s life for loving a person he wants,I have to get out from this dreadful continent naaaw

  18. Fairprince

    True do know your rights as gay men out or closeted I know many Caribbean islands still carry the law that homosexuality is a crime and punishable by law to imprisonment , many guys when raped or bate cannot report this in the Caribbean or they will be laughed at and nothing will be done
    I wish I could leave

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