Cameroon sentence: 4 months for lesbian activity

Michel Togue (Photo courtesy of Council of Global Equality)
Michel Togué (Photo courtesy of Council of Global Equality)

Two imprisoned lesbians in Cameroon can look forward to release from the prison cells, now that they have been convicted of violating the country’s anti-gay laws, attorney Michel Togué says.
A Yaoundé court sentenced them to four months in prison, fines of 100,000 CFA francs (US $211) each, and legal costs of 30,000 CFA francs (US $63).
Because of the time they have already spent in prison, they will be released as soon as they pay the fines and court costs, Togué said.
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 — “caught in the act” — but the law is often interpreted as justifying imprisonment for people who are merely suspected of being homosexual.
Togué is one of only three attorneys in Cameroon who accepts LGBT clients.  He works with the human rights and anti-AIDS organization Camfaids (the Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS), which provides support for LGBT defendants and prisoners.

 

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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, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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