Cameroon: Two more homosexuality convictions

Click on the image for the blog's list of people in prison or awaiting trial for homosexuality.
Click on the image for the blog’s list of people in prison or awaiting trial for homosexuality. (As this post is published, that list needs to be updated again.)

A court in Cameroon today convicted two more people of homosexuality offenses.

Joseph Omgba was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of 50,000 CFA francs (U.S. $100, 76 euros).  He has been in jail awaiting court action for nearly two years, so he should be released soon if he can pay the fine.

In the same case, an unnamed minor was given a one-year suspended sentence.

“Like most of the people prosecuted for homosexuality in Cameroon, there was no evidence against them,” said Human Rights Watch researcher Neela Ghoshal.

A third defendant was acquitted after being detained awaiting trial for almost two years.

Omgba was one of four men arrested in August 2011, on homosexuality charges, subjected to anal examinations, and held at the central prison in Yaoundé awaiting trial.

An earlier report on this complex case is “Case Study 9” in  the March 2013 report “Guilty by Association” from Human Rights Watch.

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 Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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