Three men jailed in Cameroon over gay sex

Three men in Cameroon have been sentenced to five years in prison for engaging in gay sex acts, which are illegal in the central African nation.

The men were allegedly caught having oral sex in a car in July. However, they denied the allegations.

The men were sentenced to five years imprisonment and a fine of 200,000 CFA francs (about $400), the heaviest sentence provided by Cameroonian law.

The men's lawyer Alice Nkom said they were arrested for looking feminine.

"How can people be jailed just for dressing like women?" she told the BBC, adding that her clients would appeal.

On August 26, four other Cameroonians were remanded in custody and charged with "indecent behaviour" after what their lawyer described as a set-up.

Amnesty International has condemned the sentences in a statement:

"Amnesty International considers these men to be prisoners of conscience who are being punished solely because of their perceived sexual orientation".

"The use of criminal law to punish private sexual activity between consenting adults contravenes international human rights laws that Cameroon has signed and ratified."

Date: 25 November 2011


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