Cameroon: 7 detainees win their release

Trois avocats (de gauche à droite: Michel Togué, Alice Nkom et Saskia Ditisheim (Photo de Saskia Ditisheim)
Three lawyers who support LGBT people in Cameroon (from left to right): Michel Togué, Alice Nkom and Saskia Ditisheim (Photo courtesy of Saskia Ditisheim)

Seven LGBT people who were arrested Oct. 1 on homosexuality-related charges have been released in Cameroon.

All had faced charges of homosexuality and prostitution, including four who were released today and three released previously.

The anti-AIDS, pro-human rights group Camfaids announced the release.

Camfaids said that the LGBT detainees expressed their thanks to their attorneys, Michel Togué and his assistant, who convinced the prosecutor to release the detainees, and Saskia Ditisheim, president of the Lawyers Without Borders, Switzerland, who provided advocacy and support from abroad.

They also expressed thanks to other international and local supporters who lobbied in private for their release and to Camfaids for emotional, financial and legal support.

The seven arrests occurred after a police raid in the Kondengui neighborhood of Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, targeting a home that neighbors suspected belonged to a homosexual man.

More information will be published later, as it becomes available.

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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