Gay, Trans Cameroonians Arrested… Again!

Cameroon – Two Men who had been arrested and released on charges of homosexuality in January have been rearrested again, it has been reported.

Jonas Singa Kumie and Franky Djome (Franky Ndome), variously described as gay men and as transgender, went shopping last Sunday at the Essos market in Yaoundé where they were insulted by some of the traders and onlookers.

In a report carried in 76 Crimes, Jonas, interviewed March 26 at a police station, said “When we walked by, people began to insult us. They called us queers, witches, women. Some merchants threatened to beat us up and began throwing stones and tomatoes at us.”

The pair, it is alleged, stopped at a salon in hopes of getting manicures and pedicures, but within minutes a crowd formed around them. A fight broke out between the two gay men and the merchants.

“People were throwing stones and other objects at us. We defended ourselves as best we could. One stone hit a nearby woman and she began to bleed profusely. Even more people jumped on us and hit us. Our purchases were stolen. They grabbed our identity cards and our money.

Franky rushed to the nearest police station for help. The police then took us into custody,” said Jonas.

The injured woman, who had been hit unintentionally by a stone thrown by one of the pair, was taken to a nearby health center for treatment. Franky’s mother paid for first aid for the woman, settling a bill that came to 8,000 CFA francs (about $16), the mother said.

The pair made news when they won a court appeal in January and were freed from prison, where they had been serving a five-year sentence for alleged violations of Cameroon’s anti-homosexuality law.

They had to go into hiding, because immediately after they were released from prison, they were pursued by an anti-gay mob, including at least one policeman.

The two were arrested in November 2011 with another man, Hilaire Nguiffo found guilty of practising homosexuality and were sentenced to the maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of 200,000 CFA francs.

International rights groups pilled pressure on Cameroon to overturn the decision and it was only in January that their appeal was successful.

Last week, four human rights organizations (including CAMFAIDS) published a report revealing that at least 28 people have been prosecuted for being gay Cameroon since 2010, more than almost any other country in the world. (READ: Cameroon: Rights Abuses In ‘Homosexuality’ Prosecutions)

Same-sex sexual acts are illegal under section 347 of the penal code in Cameroon with a penalty of five years imprisonment including a hefty fine.

by Brenda Sausage
Source – Identity Kenya