Amnesty International, a human-rights organization, has stepped in to this case and has considered the men to be “prisoners of conscience,” who were placed behind bars solely because of their “perceived sexual orientation,” according to Amnesty’s Central Africa campaigner Jean-Eric Nkurikiye who told the BBC in a statement.
Not only were Kumie and Djome imprisoned, but they were also denied bail and fined 200,000 CFA francs ($400). While in jail, the men have been reportedly subjected to degrading treatment by not only by other prisoners but by the guards themselves.
The ruling will hopefully create enough of a global tempest so that the country’s President Paul Biya will consider releasing other prisoners who have been unjustly placed behind bars for breaking the country’s draconian and discriminatory homosexuality laws.
Only last month, a Cameroon court upheld a five-year prison term for Roger Jean-Claude Mbede, 32, and a university philosophy student who was arrested in March 2011. During his detention, police reportedly beat him until he reportedly confessed to three other relationships with men he named to authorities for investigation. Mbede was found guilty in a court of law for sending another man a text message that said, “I love you,” and was sent to prison in June 2011, where he was reportedly abused until his health deteriorated.