Human rights charity Amnesty International are publicly urging Cameroon to release two men who are due to be tried for so-called sexuality crimes. The local pair are due to stand trial for charges of homosexuality imminently. Currently in custody, they face up to five years behind bars if convicted.
Last night, Amnesty International demanded the immediate release of the pair, a 19-year-old known only as Jonas and a 20-year-old known as Francky, who were arrested last month in a car outside a nightclub in the capital, Yaounde.
According to The Guardian, they were charged under section 347a of the Cameroonian penal code, which criminalises same-sex sexual acts.
Erwin van der Borght, Amnesty’s Africa programme director, told The Guardian: "Given the high level of officially sanctioned homophobia in Cameroon, those arrested under this law are at risk of attack or other forms of ill-treatment, by fellow prisoners or by prison authorities, because of their alleged sexual orientation.
"Cameroon should repeal this draconian law. By arresting people purely because of their alleged sexual orientation, the Cameroonian government is flagrantly violating international human rights treaties which it has signed or ratified."