Canal+ Elles, a TV station shut down on September 22 for airing gay content, is back on the airwaves. This comes less than one month after the National Communication Council (NCC) slammed an indefinite ban on the media outlet.
Canal+ Elles is a Canal+-owned thematic channel.
In a statement signed on September 22, NCC President Joseph Chebonkeng Kalabubsu said that the channel was shut down for showing gay scenes on Canal+ Elles, stating that it goes against Cameroonian law and tradition.
“The NCC asked Canal+ to suspend without delay and until further notice its Canal+ Elles channel in Cameroon,” Chebonkeng said in the release.
Canal+ Elles can now resume broadcast.
But on October 9, 2023, NNC’s Chebonkeng made a u-turn. In another statement, he noted that “This international cable distribution company basically stopped showing the above-mentioned shows right away and promised to take a number of steps to stop this kind of behaviour from happening on all Canal+International Bouquet channels in the future.”
The NCC also urged Canal+ Elles to “adhere all of the channels in their bouquet to the laws of Cameroon so that ‘illegal programs’ don’t come back.”
Cameroon is one of 38 African countries where homosexuality is a criminal offence. The government has warned against it, threatening to sanction anyone who identifies with the LGBTQ community.
Article 347:1 of the country’s Penal Code states that anyone found guilty of homosexuality will be jailed for 5 years and will pay a fine of between FCFA 20,000 and FCFA 200,000.