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.
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.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/7-10/14)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Nite | to the tune of @cnn 😞
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2. Got so much work to do but I just wanna stay in bed and binge watch #Gameofthrones and start the new season of #OnceUponATime. I know I can't be the only one. Right? Ha 💤🦁🍂 #saturday
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3. Mommy's weekend turn up ❤️👶🏾💕🍼 Wouldn't trade it for nothing. #TeamNoSleep lol #HesMyBiggestBlessing ✨
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4. One of them oh shit mont we made it feelings … this shit still be unreal 💯💪🏾 @remyboymonty1738
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5. Tickets Available October 14 @ticketmaster.
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6. People magazine Home edition has raided my house! Get a sneak peek into the bedroom life of the Leakes and see other parts of my home now at PEOPLE.COM
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7. They want to kick you when you down, but kick it when you up
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8. Got my advance copy of #Mafia3 at @gamestop. Get yours via link in the bio #Mafia3 #Ad
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9. This is some of the cast and our diverse team of writers in the writer's room creating funny sh*t for @nbcmarlon what a fun room! Lots of jokes, great stories and having a great time doing what we love... making people laugh and feel something. Look out for our show next year @nbcmarlon we bringing sitcoms back to NBC
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10. #HappySunday☀️Thank you @4everbrandy101 💛💡💛
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11. Happy to be back in Central Falls, RI breaking ground for the One Stop Health Center and hosting a local community event with #Vaseline.
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12. Thank you all in advance 💋💋💋 #Repost @urbansvintage・・・#TarajiPHenson's memoir #AroundTheWayGirl will be available everywhere TODAY October 11th! Will you be purchasing a copy? #UrbansVintage
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13. Moms got my back
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14. @galore dinner party glo ✨ thanks to @styledbygiigii
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15. 🌹#ThisIsWhatTheTruthFeelsLikeTOUR #forevereve
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16. Yes, all those videos I've been posting have led to this: the introduction of skincare to @TYRABeauty! This is the rundown on the new line:Years of research and beauty tips I live by led me to produce the most effective and delightful skincare out there. I'm all about taking really good care of my skin, so I can look like I'm aging in #TyraYears and go filter free on Instagram when I feel like it! Now, it's your turn. ✨My Mama always told me not to wash my face with just my hands. "Tyra, girl, you're just moving the dirt around!" And I've listened. First up is The Clean Machine.... ...a 3-in-1 foaming face wash that cleanses, removes makeup and purified your skin. It has patented technology - a attached Turbo Cleansing Tool - to give you that deep clean that makes your skin feel super fresh. Wanna know more? Yeah, baby. Click that link in my bio.
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17. On set of #beingmaryjane like... ❤️😬💃🏾
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18. #carouselofhope@yvetteshelton100@makeupbylatrice @thestacetheface@marialuciahohan24
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19. I refuse to let a little cold stop me from my daily routines to greatness. #onlythestrongsurvive #warriors
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20. Big things begin with big THINKING... #BusinessEthics #SetLife 🎥
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21. Goodnight - here's a song
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22. Words can't explain the feeling that I have right now.....God is good. look momma I made it. #Harts #Blessed #WhatNow #comedicrockstarshit #4DaysAway
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23. I tried to get a better video with out the nasty bib but she started getting mad at me..lol! Big cuz @the_queen_caitlin trying to show her what to do. #MamasToots #HeirBear👑💜
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24. Gorgeous Serena joined Beyoncé in Formation last night on stage in New Jersey!!!
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25. 😜 @lifeofdesiigner & @rockohill
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