Attorney Michel Togué has taken on the case of two lesbians, Liliane and Nicole, who were arrested and jailed on homosexuality charges in Ebolowa in southern Cameroon.
The women, imprisoned 160 kilometers south of Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé, had previously lacked representation. Togué is one of a handful of lawyers in Cameroon who accept LGBT defendants and prisoners as clients.
The women have been imprisoned since November 2013, when they were arrested on charges of homosexual behavior involving another woman.
In a hearing today (May 8), action on their case was delayed until June 12 to hear testimony from the woman testifying against them, Togué said. That means the women, who have not been convicted of any crime, face the likelihood that they will not be released from prison until at least seven months after their arrest.
Cameroonian law provides for prison sentences of up to five years for same-sex sexual activity. It is supposed to apply only to cases of same-sex intercourse in which a couple is “caught in the act,” but the law is often interpreted as justifying imprisonment for people who are merely suspected of being homosexual.
- So far, 2 jailed lesbians are on their own in Cameroon (76crimes.com)
- 2 lesbians arrested in Cameroon (not 4) (76crimes.com)
- A visit to prisoners held on ‘suspicion of homosexuality’ (76crimes.com)
- Cameroon: Two lesbians sentenced to nine months (76crimes.com)
- 3 LGBT activists arrested as Cameroon harassment continues (76crimes.com)
- Slain LGBT activist’s work survived his murder (76crimes.com)
- Cameroon sentence: 4 months for lesbian activity (76crimes.com)