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Cameroon police arrest man seized by anti-gay mob

Police in the Cameroonian coastal city of Limbe on Oct. 29 arrested a man on homosexuality charges after a mob seized him and delivered him to the police station.

Cornelius Fonya pleaded not guilty to the charges in a hearing on Nov. 7. His request for release on bail was denied. A hearing in his case is scheduled for Dec. 19.

Human rights lawyer Walter M. Atoh Tchemi, who is representing Fonya, said his client was arrested on the basis of the mob’s accusation, which in turn was based on accusations by two men who said Fonya had made advances toward them.

Fonya is accused of being caught in the act of homosexual sex, but Atoh said his client was not caught in the act of having sex with anyone.

Under Cameroonian law, homosexual activity is punishable by prison sentences of up to five years.

Under that law, eight people are currently held in Cameroonian prisons and many more are awaiting trials that could lead to imprisonment.

The Cameroon government is under pressure to suspend that law from the United Nations human rights organization and from local and international human rights groups.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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