Two transgender Cameroonians jailed for ‘homosexuality’

LGBT refugees living in Kenya stand behind a rainbow flag as they protest against their treatment by authorities, outside an office of the UN refugee agency UNHCR in Nairobi on May 17, 2019.

Two transgender Cameroonians were sentenced on Tuesday to five years in prison in Cameroon, where gay sex is illegal, for “attempting homosexuality”, their lawyer told AFP.

Loc Djeukam, well-known on social media under the pseudonym Shakiro, and Roland Mouthe alias Patricia, were jailed in February.

They were found guilty of “attempting homosexuality, outraging public decency and possessing faulty national IDs”, lawyer Richard Tamfu told AFP, adding that he would appeal.

They were also fined 300 euro, $365 and order to pay court costs of over 30 euros – a large sum in this country – “and risk additional jail time if they fail to pay,” he said.

“It’s a hammer blow. It’s the maximum term outlined in law,” said Alice Nkom, the head of the Association for the Defence of Rights of Homosexuals.

Nkom added: “The message is clear: homosexuals don’t have a place in Cameroon.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Cameroon, with prison terms ranging from six months to five years and fines of up to 200 000 CFA francs.

Human Rights Watch in April deplored the discrimination suffered by gay people in Cameroon, including even torture.

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