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Two Cameroonian transgender people sentenced in May to five years in prison were released on bail Tuesday, July 13, pending the outcome of their appeal trial, their lawyer and an NGO said.
Loïc Djeukam, very present and known on social networks in Cameroon under the pseudonym Shakiro, and Roland Mouthé, alias Patricia, imprisoned since February, “Are free” after having “Benefited from a provisional release measure” of the Court of Appeal of Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon, told AFP their lawyer, Mr.e Richard Tamfu.
“The release decision was made during the appeal process” of the two condemned, confirmed to AFP Alice Nkom, president of the Association for the Defense of the Rights of Homosexuals (Adefho).
The heaviest sentence
In May, the two defendants were convicted of “Attempted homosexuality, public insult and lack of a national identity card”, before being sentenced at first instance to five years in prison, the heaviest sentence provided for by legislation punishing homosexual practices in this central African country. Shakiro and Patricia had appealed, the date of their new trial has not been set.
Homosexuality is repressed in Cameroon, the law providing for sentences ranging from six months to five years in prison for anyone who has sex with a person of the same sex.
The international NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) deplored in April the discrimination suffered by homosexuals in Cameroon. “The law that criminalizes homosexual behavior puts LGBT people at increased risk of being mistreated, tortured and assaulted without any consequences for the perpetrators”, said Neela Ghoshal, deputy director of HRW’s LGBT division.
Formerly frequent, arrests for alleged homosexuality have declined significantly in recent years in Cameroon, but they seem to be on the rise recently.