Cameroon Acquits Two Men Imprisoned For ‘Looking Gay’

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  • Same-sex acts are illegal in the conservative west-central African country of Cameroon, which explains why Jonas Kumie and Frankie Djome were convicted in November 2011 and sentenced to five years in prison for “looking gay,” reports the BBC.

    The two men who have already served over a year’s time in prison were arrested for allegedly having oral sex in a car, according to police. The pair vehemently denied the allegations against them and their lawyer, Alice Nkom argues that they were cuffed for merely looking feminine. Nkom, who sits at the helm of the Association for the Defense of Homosexuals in Cameroon, has stated that the case was a “crime of fashion, not homosexuality.”

    “How can people be jailed just for dressing like women?” Nkom said, adding, “This is really an embarrassment for Cameroon.”

    Homophobia is widespread not only in Cameroon but throughout most African countries; jailing men or women who indulge in same-sex acts is not uncommon on the continent.

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