Food and hopes for freedom for 7 LGBTQ prisoners in Cameroon

Seven imprisoned victims of Cameroon’s homophobia have welcomed a delivery of much-needed food and hygiene items purchased by donors supporting this site’s Project Pas Seul (Not Alone) 2021.

Groceries delivered to LGBTQ prisoners in Cameroon included tapioca, rice, oil, tomato, sugar, antiseptic soap, detergent, pasta and onions.

The goal of the project when it was launched in May was to free 11 prisoners in Cameroon who had violated no law except the nation’s law against homosexual activity.

In the process of working on behalf of the detainees, the project recently discovered that one prisoner needs eyeglasses but cannot afford them.

In the meantime, donations from generous readers have made possible:

(1) Early release in May and June for four of the 11 original LGBTQ detainees in the project. Under Cameroonian law, prisoners who cannot pay their fines must work off that debt by remaining in prison for several months. By paying the fines, Project Pas Seul sets prisoners free earlier than otherwise would have occurred.

Entrance of the Central Prison in the Kondengui section of Yaoundé, Cameroon.

(2) A first delivery of food and hygiene items in June. The deliveries are important because the dirty, crowded prisons force inmates to get by on one small, unsanitary meal per day.

Now, with donors’ support, Project Pas Seul has made a second delivery to the seven remaining LGBTQ detainees in the two prisons in the Kondengui district of Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Here is an update on those deliveries, made by local LGBTQ activists D and J.

REPORT OF THE VISIT TO THE KONDENGUI PRISONS

On Saturday, August 14, 2021, food and hygiene supplies were delivered to LGBTQ detainees at the main prison and at the central prison of Yaoundé.

Budget

  • Transportation to and from the prisons (2 persons) — 15.000 CFA francs (US $26)
  • Entrance fees at 5,000 CFA francs per person) (2 people, 2 prisons) — 20,000 CFA francs ($35)
  • Food and hygiene items for 7 prisoners — 210,000 CFA francs ($370)

TOTAL — 245.000 CFA francs ($431)

The grocery packages contained tapioca, rice, oil, tomato, sugar, antiseptic soap, detergent, pasta, onions, etc..

Receipt for groceries purchased at the Moins Cher store and delivered to the seven prisoners.

Beneficiaries — 7 prisoners out of the original 11

  • Yaounde Central Prison — 3 prisoners seeking release on bail pending trial. (Their legal defense is supported by readers’ donations. An update on their cases is expected soon.)
  • Yaounde Main Prison — 2 prisoners who will be granted early release in November because readers’ donations have paid their fines.
  • Yaounde Main Prison — 2 prisoners who will be granted early release in March 2022 because readers’ donations have paid their fines.

Report on conditions for the 7 prisoners

During the visit to the Yaounde Central Prison, J and D met with the three prisoners hoping for release pending their trials.All three have been imprisoned for more than a year without a trial. The three prisoners said they were doing well and had no complaints to report except for being the targets of unfortunately usual homophobic threats and violence from other prisoners.

As for the four prisoners in the main prison, they are eagerly awaiting the dates of their early release.

One of those four prisoners, Dylan, who is scheduled for early release in November, has vision problems. The prison infirmary issued him a prescription for eyeglasses that would cost 93,000 CFA francs (U.S. $164), but he has no money to pay for them. If you are interested in contributing to help pay for Dylan’s eyeglasses, send a donation AND send us an email to [email protected] telling us that’s what it’s for.

All donations for Project Pas Seul are handled by the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which is the financial sponsor of the project and of this website:

  • PayPal
  • Facebook
  • DonorBox
  • By sending a check to St. Paul’s Foundation, 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.) Please write “Project Not Alone” on the memo line.

 

 

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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