Roger Mbede remains free for now in Cameroon

Jean-Claude Roger Mbede urges support for Amnesty International
Jean-Claude Roger Mbede

A Cameroon man’s three-year prison sentence for homosexuality remains on hold, at least for two months.

Jean-Claude Roger Mbede served one year of the three-year sentence before he was released for medical treatment this summer.

His appeal was scheduled to be heard Monday (Sept. 17).

The panel of judges had changed from previous hearings and documents were missing in the case file.

The hearing was rescheduled for Nov. 19, so Mbede should be able to remain at liberty until then.

Representatives of many human rights and gay rights organizations attended yesterday’s appeal hearing, including CAMFAIDS, Humanity First Cameroon,  Affirmative Action, ACODEV, ADEFHO,  IGLHRC and Avocats Sans Frontières.

Mbede is the subject of an Amnesty International campaign for his release as well as a petition drive by he activist organization, which has gathered support from more than 100,000 people who have asked the Cameroonian government to keep him out of prison.

Under Cameroonian law, homosexual activity is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years.

Mbede was arrested and convicted after he sent a text to another man stating “I’m very much in love w/u.”

For more information about Mbede’s story, see the blog post from July 21, “Gay in Cameroon: after beatings in prison, rejection at home.”

This post was revised twice on Sept. 19 to clarify the account of the delay until November.


Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, and editor/publisher of Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]


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