Cameroonian men detained for “homosexuality”

Action Alert Amnesty InternationalRepost from Amnesty International

15 August 2011

The Cameroonian authorities must immediately release two young men due to stand trial on 18 August on charges of homosexuality and repeal the discriminatory law used to imprison them, Amnesty International said today.

The two men – a 19-year-old known only as Jonas, and a 20-year-old known only as Francky – were arrested on 25 July in a car outside a night club in the Cameroonian capital, Yaoundé.

They have been charged under Section 347a of the Cameroonian Penal Code, which criminalizes same-sex sexual acts, and are being held at Yaoundé’s Kondengui central prison.

“Given the high level of officially sanctioned homophobia in Cameroon, those arrested under this law are at risk of attack or other forms of ill-treatment by fellow prisoners, or by prison authorities, because of their alleged sexual orientation.” said  Erwin Van Der Borght,  Amnesty International’s Africa Programme Director.

“Cameroon should repeal this draconian law. By arresting people purely because of their alleged sexual orientation, the Cameroonian government is flagrantly violating international human rights treaties which it has signed or ratified.”

Jonas and Francky are the latest in a series of young men arrested under Section 347a.  If convicted, they could face up to five years in prison. Continue reading

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