Transgender Cameroonians jailed for wearing women’s clothing and eating at restaurant
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CAPE TOWN - Two transgender Cameroonians have been sentenced to five years in prison and fined just over R5000 each.
According to a BBC report on Wednesday, Njeukam Loic Midrel, who is known as Shakiro, a social media influencer, and Mouthe Roland, who goes by the name Patricia, were detained on February 8 for ’attempted homosexuality’.
They were arrested for wearing women's clothing while eating at a restaurant, wrote Voice of America.
According to international media reports, they were refused bail and their trial, which has been postponed several times, ended on Tuesday with their conviction at the Bonanjo Douala magistrate’s court.undefined
According to reports, targeting of LGBTQ people in Cameroon intensified after neighbouring Gabon last year legalised same-sex relations.
Despite the victory in Gabon, the breakdown of the vote shows that the country is sharply divided on the issue. Forty-eight MPs voted in favour of the text, 24 voted against and 25 abstained, wrote the Africa Report.
The anti-gay law in the central African country carries jail terms of six months to five years and fines of up to 200,000 CFA francs (R5 039) for same-sex relations.
Human Rights Watch said in a report in April that LGBTQ people are suffering a fresh wave of persecution in Cameroon.
According to the advocacy group, Cameroonian security forces have arbitrarily arrested, beaten or threatened at least 24 people, including a 17-year-old boy, for alleged consensual same-sex conduct or gender nonconformity, since February 2021.
Neela Ghoshal, associate LGBT rights director at Human Rights Watch, said that the law criminalising same-sex conduct puts LGBT people at a heightened risk of being mistreated, tortured and assaulted without any consequences for the abusers.
Homosexual sex is illegal in more than half of sub-Saharan African countries.