102 who are in prison for being gay, 75 more awaiting trial

(This page is revised — again and again — as new information is received. Latest update: May 16, 2014. )

Maurice Okello and Anthony Oluku (Photo courtesy of NTV)

Maurice Okello and Anthony Oluku are awaiting trial in Uganda on homosexuality charges. (Photo courtesy of NTV)

Worldwide, at least 102 people are currently in prison for allegedly violating laws that punish those who are born gay, lesbian or bisexual. In addition, at least 75 other people are awaiting trial on charges related to homosexuality.

The prison sentences that have been imposed range up to nine years, which is actually toward the lower end of punishments that are on the books in the 76-plus countries where homosexuality is currently illegal.

Fourteen people currently awaiting the outcome of their trials in Uganda and Zambia face the possibility of life sentences.

Listing 177 people is probably an extreme understatement of the number of people who are behind bars or awaiting trial on anti-homosexuality charges, but finding out about specific cases is difficult, especially in countries without a free press.

The lists below provide a narrow window into just one of many types of injustice affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, sometimes with fatal results. (See below.)

At present, the lists are led by Nigeria (an estimated 36 in prison after recent arrests), Egypt (an estimated 18 in prison and 10 free while awaiting trial), Saudi Arabia (an estimated 21 in prison, according to specific recent reports; hundreds of other cases cited without any specifics), Cameroon (8 in prison and 12 free while awaiting trial), and Iran (24 arrested and detained as “homosexuals and satanists” in October 2013; all reportedly out on bail awaiting trial on undisclosed charges). Other countries on the list are India (13), Uganda (11), Morocco (10 specified; dozens more people reportedly arrested and tried), Zambia (5), Senegal (2), United Arab Emirates (2), Zimbabwe (2) and Malaysia (1).

102 PEOPLE IMPRISONED FOR HOMOSEXUALITY

>CAMEROON

L'intérieur de la prison centrale. (Photo de Camerpress.com)

LGBT prisoners often are imprisoned at Yaounde Central Prison. (Photo courtesy of Camerpress.com)

Cameroonian law provides for sentences of up to five years for homosexual activity.

Liliane and Nicole on trial on charge of lesbian activity
Jailed since November 2013, when they were arrested on charges of homosexual behavior involving another woman.

Their trial was scheduled for June 12, 2014, in Ebolowa in southern Cameroon, at which point the prosecution says the third woman will testify against them.

Cornelius Fonya: Seized by a mob that took him to police
9 years in prison. Sentenced Nov. 20, 2013.

Police in the coastal city of Limbe arrested Cornelius Fonya on Oct. 29, 2012, on homosexuality charges after a mob seized him and delivered him to the police station. He pleaded not guilty and was unable to raise the money demanded for bail. In 2013, he was sentenced to nine years in prison for having sexual relations with a 19-year-old youth. The usual maximum in Cameroon for same-sex relations is a five-year sentence, but the penalty is doubled for sex with someone between ages 16 and 21.

Two victims of mob attack imprisoned
Jailed while under investigation on homosexuality charges.

Augustin Siewe, a gay man, died from injuries suffered at the hands of a mob in Douala armed with clubs and machetes on Feb. 6, 2014. Two of his companions, Francis Ngamemo Tientcheu, 40, and Clovis Djeukam, 34, survived the attack, but then were placed under arrest while police investigated them for presumed homosexuality. Months later they apparently are still incarcerated.

Ngamemo and Djeukam apparently remain in police custody almost three months after they were attacked.

Sex worker arrested after sexual encounter with police
Arrested after a client — a police officer — discovered that, biologically, she was a man. In prison awaiting trial.

On Feb. 1, 2014, a police officer in Limbe, Cameroon, seeking sex with a sex worker was so shocked to find that his intended partner was transgender instead of biologically female that he beat her severely, arrested her, and charged her with homosexuality. Nicholas, commonly known as Nicoline, was to be transferred to Buea Central Prison to await trial.

>EGYPT

Police arrest LGBT people on charges of “debauchery” or “sexual immorality.”

14 unidentified men arrested in gym/sauna
On Oct. 11, 2013, 14 men were arrested for allegedly engaging in gay sex at a gym/sauna in the El-Marg district in northeastern Cairo. No report of their release has been received.

4 men sent to prison for 3 to 8 years for ‘deviant parties’
A court sentenced four men to up to eight years in prison on April 7, 2014, for practicing homosexuality, a judicial official said. Prosecutors had accused the men of holding “deviant parties” and dressing in women’s clothes. Three were sentenced to eight years and the fourth to three years in prison.

Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia (Photo via Photobucket.com)

Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia (Photo via Photobucket.com)

> MALAYSIA

Under Malaysian law, a prison sentence of up to 20 years is provided for “intercourse against the order of nature,” including homosexual activity.

Opposition politician stymied by prison sentence for sodomy

A Malaysian court in March 2014 sentenced opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to five years in prison on sodomy charges, overturning an earlier acquittal and ending his hopes of contesting a local election this year. Anwar, 66, is free on bail awaiting the outcome of his appeal.

>MOROCCO

Under Moroccan law, a prison sentence of up to three years is provided for homosexual activity.

Two men get 3 years in prison
3 years in prison. Sentenced May 4, 2013.

Gay Maroc reported that two men were sentenced May 4, 2013, to three years in prison for homosexuality — the maximum penalty.

Father protests; six men sentenced
Sentences of 1 to 3 years in prison, imposed May 14, 2014.

Six men in Fqih Bensalah in central Morocco were sentenced to  up to three years in prison for being homosexuals and for violations related to sex and alcohol. They were arrested after the father of one of the men filed suit, accusing three of them of inciting his son into becoming a homosexual. They were sentenced to prison terms of one to three years for homosexuality and on charges including “incitement to prostitution,” driving while intoxicated and being “drunk on the street,”

Two male students imprisoned for looking feminine
3 months in prison. Sentenced about May 14, 2014.

A court in Marrakesh, Morocco, sentenced two male university students to three months in prison in May 2014 after their arrest for having a “feminine appearance,” according to the website of Aswat Magazine, which serves the LGBT community of Morocco.

Dozens more go unreported in Morocco

Most homosexuality-related trials in Morocco are not publicized. According to an Associated Press account, the Ministry of Justice reported that 81 such trials occurred in 2011. The Moroccan LGBT activist group Kifkif says that more than 5,000 homosexuals have been put on trial since the country’s independence in 1956. That’s an average of about 86 per year.

> NIGERIA

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (Photo by Ricardo Stuckert via Wikimedia Commons)

Nigerian President Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed the so-called “Jail the Gays Bill” in early January 2014. (Photo by Ricardo Stuckert via Wikimedia Commons)

Nigerian law provides for sentences of up to 14 years for homosexual activity. In parts of northern Nigeria where sharia law applies, the death penalty can be applied for same-sex intercourse between males. A 2014 law provides for prison sentences of 14 years for getting married to a member of the same sex and 10 years for belonging to a gay organization, supporting same-sex marriages, or making a public display of same-sex affection.

Compiling a comprehensive list of people incarcerated for violations of anti-gay laws in Nigeria is currently impossible. Nigerian newspapers typically report arrests and sometimes the opening of trials of LGBT people, but not the outcome of those events.

3 men arrested after sexual encounter at hotel

Armstrong Ihua, Collins Ejike, and Pius Bamayi were arrested April 2, 2013, after a sexual encounter in a Mararaba hotel room. They were detained without bail awaiting court action on April 23, but no further news has been received. In this list, they are presumed to be incarcerated, either sentenced to prison or still in jail awaiting further court action.

Two men, presumably in prison

Emeka Eze, 35, and Jonathan Akatin, 22, were arraigned Oct. 3, 2013, in an Upper Area Court, Jos, and charged with homosexual behavior. They pleaded guilty. No news was received of the sentence imposed on them, scheduled for Oct. 10, 2013. In this list, they are presumed to be in prison.

3 Valentine’s Day arrests

Location of Abeokuta, Okun State, in Nigeria.

Location of Abeokuta, Okun State, in Nigeria.

Three men were arrested in a sports utility vehicle on Feb. 14 in Abeokuta and charged with conspiracy and homosexuality. The defendants — Oluwasegun Adesina‑Rasheed, 64; Samad Ojo, 20; and Ope Abeeb, 18 — all pleaded not guilty to charges and were sent to prison to await further court action. No news has been received of the court proceedings. In this list, it is presumed that they are still in prison.

Arrests linked to the “Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Law”

A wave of dozens of arrests were reported during an anti-gay frenzy related to the enactment of the so-called Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Law in early January 2014. That sweeping law provides for 10-year prison sentences for public displays of same-sex affection, belonging to a gay organization, or supporting same-sex marriages. About 32 were reported arrested in southern Nigeria — the Christian section of the country. No further information or updates were available. For purposes of this list, half of them are presumed to have been freed; the other half, to be in prison awaiting trial.

7 arrests in early December 2013 in northern Nigeria

Nigerian newspaper Punch (Dec. 3, 2013) reported that the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps in Jigawa State in central northern Nigeria arrested seven suspects, ages 18 to 25, for alleged homosexuality. The Commandant of the corps, Alhaji Mohammad Gidado, said the suspects would soon be charged to court. No further word has been received about the arrestees. For this list, three of them are presumed to have been freed; the other four are presumed to be in prison awaiting trial.

Sharia court action in Bauchi State

At least 12 people and, by some reports, many more were arrested in late 2013 or early 2014 in Bauchi state. A Bauchi state sharia court in early January 2014 ordered one young man to be whipped for alleged homosexuality. Another four men were sentenced in March to receive 15 strokes and either to pay a $120 fine or serve a year in prison. For this list, they are presumed to have paid that fine and been freed.

Two men were released because the court said evidence against them was lacking. Four eyewitnesses are required for a death sentence for sodomy under sharia law in Nigeria. Four other Muslim men were still awaiting trial, while a fifth — a Christian — was awaiting trial in a secular court. For this list, they are presumed to be in prison awaiting their trials.

Two pastors arrested in hotel room

Two pastors, Prince Ejimole and Lawrence Udo, were arrested after they were allegedly found having sex in a hotel room near the city of Lagos in January 2013. They are listed here as awaiting trial, but no word has been received about when a trial will be or was held.

> SAUDI ARABIA

Under sharia law, the death penalty can be imposed for homosexual activity in Saudi Arabia.

News of arrests for homosexuality is rarely reported in Saudi Arabia, but the practice is reportedly common. In one year recently, religious police reportedly arrested and convicted a total of 260 people on homosexuality-related charges, including charges of cross-dressing, wearing make-up and seeking homosexual encounters. None of that number is included in this list.

Name unknown: 5 years and 500 lashes

In November 2010, a 27-year-old Saudi Arabian man was sentenced to 500 lashes and five years’ imprisonment by a court in Jeddah for the criminal offense of homosexuality, among other charges, Amnesty International reported.

35 arrested at party

Police and security officers of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice arrested 35 people on April 4, 2014, at a party near Jeddah that was allegedly for homosexuals. No further word of the arrestees has been received. For this list, with some basis in previous incidents, it is presumed that 20 of them remain in prison and 15 were foreigners who were soon deported.

> SENEGAL

Under Senegalese law, a prison sentence of one to five years is provided for homosexual activity.

Journalist sentenced for gay sex

Tamsir Jupiter Ndiaye

Tamsir Jupiter Ndiaye

“The noted journalist and employee of UNESCO [Tamsir Jupiter Ndiaye] was sentenced on 24 October [2012] to a four-year prison term without parole, for having gay sex and causing grievous bodily harm to Matar Diop Diagne, who was convicted of committing ‘acts against nature’ and sentenced for a three-year prison sentence without parole,” Gay Star News reported.

> UGANDA

Ugandan law provides for up to a life sentence for same-sex intercourse and, under a new law enacted in 2014, also for anyone who “touches another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.” The new law also provides for sentences of five to seven years for “promoting homosexuality” or for action that “in any way abets homosexuality and related practices.”

Trans woman in Nakatunya Prison awaiting trial

In Soroti in eastern Uganda, transgender woman Grace Akello (Charles Okello) was arrested after a man accused her of misleading men into thinking she was a woman. She was charged with “being a common nuisance” under the Penal Code Act. She did not have the securities needed to qualify for release on bail, so she remains in Nakarunya Prison awaiting her trial.

> UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Depending on the court, location in the Emirates and legal interpretations, the penalty for homosexual activity in the U.A.E. can range from a few months to the death penalty.

Sodomy conviction upheld in U.A.E.

In March 2014, a court in the United Arab Emirates upheld a six-month prison sentence for two unnamed men who were convicted of sodomy. The men denied the charge and said police had coerced them into confessing. At the end of their prison sentence, they are to be deported.

In chains, Philip Mubiana and James Mwape enter the Kapiri Mposhi courtroom.

In chains, Philip Mubiana (shown) and James Mwape enter the Kapiri Mposhi courtroom.

> ZAMBIA

Under Zambian law, sexual relations between men are punishable by prison sentences of 15 years to life.

Trial nears an end for Zambian couple
In prison awaiting a verdict in their trial.

Philip Mubiana, 21, and James Mwape, 20, were arrested in late April 2013, released briefly, and then rearrested May 4. Since then, they have been held in prison on homosexuality charges, pending completion of their trial, which is expected to end May 30. Pleas for bail have been rejected. Their arrest resulted from an anti-gay campaign launched in early April 2013, when Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba urged the Zambian public to report homosexuals. In response to that appeal, Mubiana’s sister Sharon reported her brother to police.

Teacher and casual worker on trial

Two men in Chisamba, central Zambia, pleaded not guilty to homosexuality charges. The trial of Jacob Botha, 36, a teacher, and Jackson Lungu, 22, a casual worker, was scheduled to start in April. They are listed here in prison awaiting the outcome of their trial. No further news has been received of them. Media reports claimed that the men had been “living as husband and wife” for three years.

75 PEOPLE IN DANGER OF BEING RETURNED TO PRISON

> CAMEROON

The following people were released on bail in Cameroon and some of them might never come to trial, but apparently they all remain at risk of renewed court action.

Three women arrested for lesbian acts; two charged
Awaiting trial

Three women in the city of Ambam were charged with lesbianism in February 2012. Esther Aboa Belinga and Martine Solange Abessolo were arrested because they were living together. They were detained for six days before they were released pending trial. The wife of Assom Ndem née Djula was also charged after her husband accused her of being a lesbian, because Abessolo told him to keep her away from Aboa Belinga. Charges against Mrs. Assom Ndem were later dropped.

Franky Djome (Photo courtesy of France24)

Franky Djome (Photo courtesy of France24)

Ordeal of 2 trans women may not yet be over
Sentenced to 5 years in prison; verdict overturned; awaiting new appeal

Transgender women Jonas Singa Kumie and Franky Djome (Ndome) were in a group of three people who were arrested in July 2011 for homosexual acts. They were sentenced to five years in prison, appealed from their cells, and finally received a favorable decision after more than a year and half in prison. On their release in early 2013, they were reportedly pursued by a mob and went into hiding. The third person who was arrested with them paid a fine and was released. The prosecution has appealed the appeals court’s decision to the Supreme Court of Cameroon, so they still face the possibility of being sent back to prison.

Samuel Gervais Akam awaits trial
Awaiting trial

Samuel Gervais Akam was held for months at the New Bell prison in Douala, awaiting trial for homosexuality. In November 2012, he was released on bail to continue waiting for the trial to begin.

Village chief was arrested, jailed, released
Awaiting trial.

Louis Marcel Ijanja, a village chief, was arrested Sept. 3, 2010, in the coastal city of Kribi on charges of homosexuality. Eventually he was released from jail to await his trial. (Source: Human Rights Watch report of March 2013)

Four were arrested after angry crowd beat them
Awaiting trial

Four men identified as Gideon (or Gildeon) M., Leonard N., Elvis (or Kelvin) F., and R.X. (reportedly a minor) were arrested in December 2011 in the town of Kumba on homosexuality charges. They were denounced as homosexuals by an angry crowd, beaten, and turned over to police. They are still awaiting trial, but no court proceedings have been held. Their attorney hopes that the case will eventually be dropped. (Source: Human Rights Watch report of March 2013)

Two lesbians in Buea were released, pending their trial
Awaiting trial

Names not given. Released on bail by early May 2014. Awaiting trial on homosexuality charges.

> EGYPT

Egyptian law does not explicitly outlaw homosexual activity, so police arrest LGBT people on charges of “debauchery” or “sexual immorality.”

10 unidentified arrestees: one woman, nine men
On Nov. 5, 2013, 1o people were arrested on homosexuality-related charges at a party in 6th of October City west of Cairo. Pending court action, they were ordered to be held for 15 days. No actual report of their release has been received; still, they are listed here as released but awaiting trial.

> INDIA

Under a colonial-era law from 1861, intercourse between two people “against the order of nature” is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. India’s High Court ruled against enforcement of that law in 2009, but the Supreme Court reinstated it in December 2013.

13 arrested in police crackdown

Thirteen people were arrested in late 2013 in the town of Hassan, near Bangalore, in southern India for allegedly violating that law. They reportedly were released on bail and now are awaiting court action.

> IRAN

Iranian law provides for the death penalty in some cases of consensual same-sex relations both for men and women.

Oct. 9 arrests in Kermanshah, Iran (Photo courtesy of Mehr News Agency)

Oct. 9, 2013, arrests in Kermanshah, Iran (Photo courtesy of Mehr News Agency)

24 reported arrested and detained
Arrests were made Oct. 8, 2013. They were reportedly blindfolded and taken to an unknown location. Within a few days they were freed on bail to await trial.

Revolutionary guards in Iran’s Kermanshah province made at least 24 arrests (“dozens”) at a birthday party. They claimed that the arrests resulted from a lengthy investigation into a “a network of homosexuals and devil-worshippers.” In an update several weeks after the arrests, activist analyst Scott Long noted that “these cases can drag on for years without a hearing.” He added, “My guess is that a lot of [the people arrested] have gone into hiding (i.e. moved to other cities) or, since Kermanshah is near the border, crossed into Iraq — or even to Turkey to claim refugee status.”

> NIGERIA

Nigerian law provides for sentences of up to 14 years for homosexual activity. In parts of northern Nigeria where sharia law applies, the death penalty can be applied for same-sex intercourse between males. A 2014 law provides for prison sentences of 14 years for getting married to a member of the same sex and 10 years for belonging to a gay organization, supporting same-sex marriages, or making a public display of same-sex affection.

Pastor arrested after rumors spread
Out on bail awaiting trial

Based on rumors, police arrested Pastor Benjamin Ndubuisi in August 2013 for having gay sex with a 23-year-old man, newspaper reports say. He pleaded not guilty, was released on bail and was scheduled to return to court on Sept. 9, 2013.

Teenagers arrested on charges of indecency, seduction
Out on bail awaiting trial

Samuel Friday, 19, and Oni Oluwatobi, 18, were charged on Oct. 1, 2013, with indecent sexual practice and seducing another into homosexuality. They were released on $620 bail, pending their trial.

> UGANDA

Ugandan law provides for up to a life sentence for same-sex intercourse and, under a new law enacted in 2014, also for anyone who “touches another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.” The new law also provides for sentences of five to seven years for “promoting homosexuality” or for action that “in any way abets homosexuality and related practices.”

Jackson Mukasa, left, and Kim Mukisa (AP photo courtesy of The Guardian)

Jackson Mukasa, left, and Kim Mukisa (AP photo courtesy of The Guardian)

 

Man, trans woman arrested after homophobic mob attack
Out on bail awaiting trial

Businessman Kim Mukisa, 24, and Jackson Mukasa, 19, a transgender woman, are awaiting their trial for male-male sexual relations, which could result in a life sentence. Police arrested Mukisa in Kampala after an anti-gay mob attacked him. They have been released on bail. The trial is scheduled to start June 12, 2014.

Two cousins arrested after one complained to police
Out on bail awaiting trial

In Oyam, in northern Uganda, cousins Maurice Okello and Anthony Oluku were arrested after Okello, 22, complained to local authorities that Oluku, 18, had attempted to have sex with him. They both were arrested, paraded in front of the media and kept in custody for more than two weeks. They were released on police bond pending trial, which could result in a life sentence for each of them.

Activist leader arrested; colleagues too
Out on bail awaiting trial

In November 2014, activist Sam Ganafa, executive director of Spectrum Uganda and chairman of the Sexual Minorities Uganda coalition, was arrested along with as many as four associates and charged with “crimes against the order of nature.” They were released pending trial.

Ugandan partner awaits trial; British partner deported

Albert Cheptoyek, 30, awaits trial for alleged “acts of gross indecency,” which is punishable by up to seven years in prison. In January, his British partner was deported in relation to a gay sex video that police found in their possession.

> ZAMBIA

Under Zambian law, sexual relations between men are punishable by up to a life sentence.

AIDS activist acquitted after trial, but prosecutor appeals
Acquitted, awaiting a decision on the prosecution’s appeal of his acquittal.

Paul Kasonkomona (Photo courtesy of Muvi TV)

Paul Kasonkomona (Photo courtesy of Muvi TV)

Police arrested anti-AIDS human rights activist Paul Kasonkomona on April 7, 2013, immediately after he appeared live on local MUVI television urging repeal of the law that makes homosexual activity a crime. He was held for five days on charges of “being idle and disorderly in a public place” for making that statement. He was released on bail to await trial, which started in October 2013. He was acquitted in February 2014, but he still was not entirely in the clear: The prosecution has appealed his acquittal, which could result in Kasonkomona being returned to prison.

2 men arrested after their host complained to police
Out on bail awaiting trial

A man in Lusaka called police on Aug. 8, 2013, to say that he had discovered that two male guests of his were having sex. Police arrested Harrison Jere and a young man identified as “Jackson Musonda.” They were charged with homosexual activity and released on bail to await trial.

> ZIMBABWE

Zimbabwean law provides for sentences of up to one year for homosexual activity.

Lionel Girezha

Lionel Girezha

Beaten, arrested in 2011, 2 men still await further legal action
Awaiting trial

Lionel Girezha, 27, and Ngonidzashe Chinya, 28, were arrested on Oct. 20, 2011, in the suburb of Mbare in Harare and charged with sodomy, Amnesty International reported. They were beaten before they were taken into police custody. At their first trial, gang members harassed and threatened their lawyers, who successfully appealed to have the trial’s location changed from Mbare. Girezha and Chinya have been released pending the start of their new trial.

Two more? Ability Chatira Mpofu and Blessing Chauke

Ability Chatira Mpofu and Blessing Chauke reportedly were arrested in September 2012 after police found that Chauke was wearing women’s clothes and that the two men had gotten married. But the activist group Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe said they did not know the two men, so they concluded that they were fictional creations of Zimbabwe’s homophobic media.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Here are some ways to give a boost to the struggle to release these prisoners and to repeal all anti-homosexuality laws:

Readers, please suggest other steps to take.

OTHER INJUSTICES FACING LGBTI PEOPLE

Of necessity, the lists above omit many types of injustices that confront LGBTI people worldwide. Here are a few of the omissions:

The lists above do not include people who were executed in one of the seven countries where homosexual activity is a capital crime. (In Iran, three people were executed in 2011 for homosexual activities, according to Amnesty International.)

The lists do not include the dozens of gay men who reportedly have been killed by death squads in Iraq without any government interference and sometimes with help from police.

The lists do not include the many people who die of AIDS each year in countries where LGBTI people are excluded from HIV prevention programs. Nor do they include the countless heterosexual women who die of AIDS after contracting HIV from their closeted gay or bisexual husband in countries where homosexuals are stigmatized.

Matthew Shepard, who was killed in 1998, apparently because he was gay. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Matthew Shepard, who was killed in 1998, apparently because he was gay. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

The lists do not include lesbians and gays, such as Tyler Clementi of Rutgers University in the United States, who commit suicide because of the scorn they suffer or the unwarranted shame they feel because of who they are.

The lists do not include people killed by bigots because they are gay, such as Matthew Shepard in the United States in 1998, and an alleged 249 people in Peru during 2006-2010.

They do not include people killed because they are working for gay rights, such as Daniel Zamudio in Chile and Thapelo Makutle in South Africa in 2012 and perhaps David Kato in Uganda in 2011.

They also do not include lesbian and bisexual women who suffer “corrective rapes” or sexual assaults because of their sexual orientation.

PREVIOUSLY ON THE LIST

>CAMEROON

Jean-Claude Roger Mbede
Died in January 2014 under suspicious circumstances while awaiting action by the Supreme Court on his appeal of a ruling by the Central Appeals Court that could have returned him to prison.

Jean-Claude Roger Mbede was freed temporarily in mid-2012 for medical treatment after serving 16 months of a three-year prison sentence for homosexuality. He had been arrested after sending a text message expressing his love to a man he thought was his friend.

Stéphane Maliedji and Jean Jacques Eyock
Fled the country while awaiting trial

Stéphane Maliedji and Jean Jacques Eyock of Cameroon, along with Australian citizen John Vasek, were arrested on March 26, 2010, on charges of violating Cameroon’s anti-homosexuality laws. They were released after Vasek paid $2,500 to the police. The case is still pending, but all three reportedly have now fled the country.

Emile Mamougou Nkoa and Fabien Mbala
Convicted. Released after five months.

Emile Mamougou Nkoa and Fabien Mbala were arrested for homosexuality and convicted on May 14, 2010. They were reportedly released after five months.

Depadou N and Paul Arno
Arrested and released after five days in late 2011. They reportedly paid bribes to win their release.

Thomas Leba
Amnesty International report, Jan. 23, 2013: “In December 2012, Amnesty International delegates met and interviewed [Thomas Leba] at New Bell prison. …. Leba, 24, said he was arrested in Douala on 15 October 2011 and accused of being gay. The Court of First Instance in Douala found him guilty of homosexuality and sentenced him to one year’s imprisonment. He appealed against his conviction and sentence. When Amnesty International met him in December he had already been in prison for 15 months but had not been released, apparently because he was awaiting a decision of the Court of Appeal.” Presumably he has now been released, since much more than a year has passed since he was sentenced to one year in prison.

Joseph Magloire Ombwa and Séraphin Ntsama
Released in July or August 2013 after almost two years in prison awaiting trial.

Joseph Magloire Ombwa and Séraphin Ntsama were among a group of four men arrested August 10, 2011, on homosexuality charges and subjected to anal examinations. They were held at the central prison in Yaoundé awaiting trial. Tiomela Lontsi (Emma Tiomela Lontsie) and Nicolas Ntamack, the other men arrested with them, were released from prison in July 2012. In July 2013, their trial was held. Ombwa was sentenced to two years in prison, which he had already served, except for a few weeks, and was ordered to pay a small fine. Ntsama was acquitted. Lontsi was given a suspended sentence. In October 2012, Ntamack was re-arrested on new charges, reportedly unrelated to homosexuality.

Nicolas Ntamack and Tiomela Lontsi
Charges dropped; suspended sentence

Tiomela Lontsi (Emma Tiomela Lontsie) and Nicolas Ntamack were arrested in August 2011 on homosexuality charges. They were released in July 2012 to await the start of their trial. Joseph Magloire Ombwa, Séraphin Ntsama, and Nicolas Ntamack, who were arrested with them, were still in prison awaiting trial. Ntamack reportedly was arrested and imprisoned again, but not on charges relating to homosexuality. The original charges against Ntamack were dropped. Lontsi was given a suspended sentence.

Aboubakar Siliki, Mbezele Yannick and Yntebeng Pascal
Arrested, held for two days, released to await a trial that never happened.

Aboubakar Siliki and Mbezele Yannick were arrested in April 2011 on homosexuality charges after they went to the police station in Douala to try to resolve a dispute over finances. When Yntebeng Pascal arrived at the police station to discuss the situation, he too was arrested on homosexuality charges after police deemed him “too effeminate.” The three men were detained for two days. They were then released awaiting trial. The case was later dropped.

Clarisse Z. and Jeanine N.
9 months in prison. Sentenced May 15, 2013. Presumably released in early 2014.

Clarisse Z. went to the police in January 2013 to complain about harassment and death threats. The police decided that the root of the problem was a lesbian relationship between her and Jeanine N., so they arrested them both. On May 15, 2013, they were both sentenced to nine months for violating Cameroon’s anti-homosexuality law.

Prison centrale à Yaoundé.

Yaoundé Central Prison.

10 detainees at Yaoundé Central Prison

Observers from the LGBT rights group Camfaids visited Yaoundé Central Prison in October 2013 and found nine young men and one young woman being held there on homosexuality charges, previously unknown to human rights defenders. Since then, four of them have been released on time served after paying fines. (These four were identified as Issa, Thio, Myan and Ali in the article “Cameroon: 10 more victims of anti-gay laws, many tortured.” ) The others are unknown to attorney Michel Togué, who defends many LGBT clients in Cameroon; for purposes of this list, they are presumed to have been released also.

> MOROCCO

Youssef L. and Redouane Z.
4 months in prison. Sentenced May 20, 2013.

Police said they spotted Youssef L. and Redouane Z. having sex in a car on May 2, 2013. They were arrested on charges of homosexuality and molestation. They could have been sentenced to three years in prison, but the sentence was limited to four months because of their youth and their lack of a criminal record, Gay Maroc reported.

> NIGERIA

Ifeanyi Chukwu Agah and Rabiu Benedict Yusuf
Two years in prison. Sentenced March 21, 2012.

Ifeanyi Chukwu Agah and Rabiu Benedict Yusuf were convicted of same-sex intercourse after police said Rabiu refused to pay Ifeanyi for his services as a prostitute. Rabiu asked for mercy on the grounds that he was married with six children, but the court rejected his plea.

> TUNISIA
Under Tunisian law, sodomy is punishable by up to three years in prison.

Mounir Baatour and an unidentified man.

The leader of Tunisia’s opposition Liberal Party, Mounir Baatour, was arrested with another man and jailed on sodomy charges following an incident on March 31, 2013, at the Sheraton Tunis Hotel, when hotel staff reportedly found two men engaging in sex. He pleaded not guilty. In June, he was sentenced to three months in prison, which made him eligible for almost immediate release. No further information about the case was released.

> UGANDA

Ugandan law provides for life sentences for homosexual activity, though the law has rarely been enforced. But two young LGBT activists were arrested on homosexuality-related charges just before and just after New Year’s Day 2013.

Joseph Kawesi
Arrested Dec. 31 and accused of homosexual activity and reportedly also “promoting homosexuality,” though that is not an offense under current Ugandan law. He was released, repeatedly summoned back to answer further questions, and still awaiting word on whether charges against him will be pursued.

Kabuye Najibu
Arrested Jan. 2 when he went to visit Joseph Kawesi at the police station where he is jailed. Najibu was reportedly accused of homosexual activity and “promoting homosexuality.” Like Kawesi, Najibu was released on bail and is awaiting word on whether charges against him will be pursued.

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50 Responses to 102 who are in prison for being gay, 75 more awaiting trial

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  6. Ken says:

    Great work you’re doing Colin. One question: You concede that your figure of 27 is probably an extreme understatement of the number of people who are behind bars or awaiting trial on anti-homosexuality charges. But if you had to hazzard a guess – and allowing for detentions on other pretexts such as loitering, lewd behaviour, inappropriate touching, same-sex co-habiting, publishing pro-gay statements, corrupting public morals, outraging public decency, licentious dancing, cross-dressing, wearing v-necks (!), etc, etc. – do you think the actual figure would be well into hundreds, or even thousands?

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    • It would be purely a guess, and not even a very educated guess, because there’s so little to go on — I would guess 100s. So little is known about what happens in Saudi Arabia, but I’ve seen an unconfirmed report of 100 actions against LGBT people in a year. Multiply that unconfirmed number by the number of other strict Muslim countries without a free press. Then add in detentions on pretexts such as those you list. We can easily imagine a total near 1000 or more.

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      • Charles says:

        I guess there’s far more than 1000… Much much more… So saying “19 in prison for being gay, 15 more awaiting trial” is just confusing and diminishing the importance.

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      • Hi, Charles,

        I almost agree with you. As the article stated, “Listing 37 people is probably an extreme understatement of the number of people who are behind bars or awaiting trial on anti-homosexuality charges, but finding out about specific cases is difficult, especially in countries without a free press.” But can you provide any specifics that the article could include? Conceivably a headline could say more, but it would need to be based on more than a guess.

        – Colin Stewart, editor of this blog

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  28. Stand for something says:

    I agree with these laws. America was founded as a Christian nation. People today spit on our ancestors graves by letting this country fall apart the way it is. And now it the “in” thing to be homosexual or bisexual. I’m not the morality police but it doesn’t take a genius to know that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural. Now in America people are forced chemicals and endocrine disrupters hidden in food, drinks and “medicines” that is changing the male brain making them to act and think more feminine and inhibiting testosterone. More people then ever are becoming gay and it’s not because they were born that way.. Do your homework even animals frogs and polar bears are becoming transgender from the contaminants in the water.
    Each country and nation is its own and no other country really have no business interfering with another country’s laws but everyone knows Americans can’t mind their own business with their “white hero” complex. And that’s not racist “white hero” is an actual term. I don’t know that these people should be murdered but they certainly need to be told that it’s wrong.. When you break the law their are consequences, they knew the law and decided to break it but now they don’t want to deal with the concequences. Would this be a story if it was about people imprisoned for stealing food? Probably not a story, and yet food is a necessity, but having sexual intercourse out of lust is not a necessity and yet these lusty people chose to break the law and do so.. It’s not about love. I love my friends dearly but I would not engage in sexual acts with them. In short, this isn’t a story. Being gay is immoral and how a country deals with that is its own issue. You don’t see spokes people from other country’s coming to America to try to stop gay marriage, gay tv, gay agenda and the teaching of gay sex ed in our public elementary schools.. At least these other country’s stand for something… What do you stand for? You can’t be okay with everything because there is a difference between right and wrong and today nobody wants to hurt anyone’s feelings and just say no, but you have to, their has to be boundaries or else chaos will consume..

    Like

    • Dean Roach says:

      Great article!!!!!!

      Like

    • acmcomptia says:

      Very interesting opinion, “Stand for something”.
      Let’s not forget there is heterosexual lust too (e.g. pornography); also, is it lust if a man and a woman have a relationship when they are infertile so can’t have children?

      What I would like to know though is how these chemicals in food/drink/medicine are only turning a minority of people and animals homosexual. How do you explain that?

      Like

    • James George says:

      Yes, lets all stand for bronze age ignorance and bigotry in a modern world that understands the very scientific reasons for homo sexuality. As you type away on your computer, hypocrite!

      Like

    • GEISHA says:

      yes it is immoral to me it is also even I am a gay,, i dont engage to sexual acts that fast,,, I think of the consequences too,,but lets see the other side,, If you a STRAIGHT guy engaged on a sexual act with other woman even if your married or not,, what would be the consequences?? is it not immoral also??? IF your a good thinker about your article,, you should take into consideration the depth of punishment or that CONSEQUENCES fair on both sides,, YES it IS IMMORAL but WILL YOU KILL THEM??? A MOB HITTING YOU TO DEATH???WHAT IF A STRAIGHT GUY WHO IS IMMORAL OF BEING SEXUALLY ATTRACTED TO OTHER WOMEN AS MY FATHER DID SUFFERS THE SAME PUNISHMENT? AND IF YOUR A GENIUS TO SAY THAT IT IS THE CHEMICALS IN THE FOODS AND WATER,, THEN WHY ARE THErE so many NO DRUGS to prevent becoming feminine or GAY, LESBIAN, etc..NO GENIUS EVER DISCOVERED THAT AND THAT THEORY OF YOURS,..
      lets talk about government too,, you said that America was founded as a Christian nation,, and You stand for something that being GAY is immoral,, but isnt it written that judging your brothers sin is immoral too though your are a sinner also?? wow what a genius you are, it is simply if you dont like it,, go away but do not hurt them.

      Like

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  31. bonut says:

    I LIKE GAYS
    AND WE SHOULD STAND UP FOR THEM

    Liked by 1 person

  32. bonut says:

    GAYS UNITED MAKE A STAND

    Liked by 1 person

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  39. GEISHA says:

    im also a gay,,they did discriminate you, even your family,, I dont know why cant we just be Straight and be Straight, but I cant,,Is it Gods plan??? it is written in the BOOK that we shall die,, BUt by what mean?? it is not death that they take out our life literally but by just simply discriminating us, hurt us,, ItS already DEATH isnt it?? when God said that we are the GRAPES of this world,, so that means we are GRAPES??? of course not,, MISUNDERSTANDING that leads to DEATH,, and as it is written you shall not judge one another because no one not one is righteous that there is only one judge and its GOD,, who are you to decide what God did to us??? its our sin if you think it is but when you look into a woman and imagined sex with her, isnt that already a sin?? as it is written??? YOU STUPID PEOPLE DONT KNOW ABOUT THE PARABLES OF GOD WHICH IS A SECRET OF HEAVENS HE REAVEALED TO US,,, He said that if your arm cause you to commit sin,, will you literally cut it?? if your eyes cause you to commit sin, will you take it out and burn it?? waht it means is that the wrong deeds is what you gonna cut and burn,,IGORANCE,, so IGNORANT PEOPLE THAT EVEN A PRESIDENT OF THOSE COUNTRIES DONT KNOW how come you became a president??,, you really want war?? lets create a bigger, wider war,,is a vial of virus more powerful than SARS or MERS enough in each of those country to have our revenge for them?? we cant create a nuke or abomb, so lets make some more research,, what about a toxic chemical into their water supply?? YOU THINK WE ARE EVIL? so be it,,,,,,,,.

    Like

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  41. ssekamate emmauel says:

    NO! one is born a homal sexual…

    Like

  42. qfptestclips says:

    In USA people loose their jobs if they say openly that they support traditional marriage. The US LGBT Nazi movement is behind all the heterophobia propaganda.

    Like

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