Called the "prisoner of conscience," gay rights activist Roger Jean-Claude Mbede was denied medical treatment because of his stance on homosexuality. And now he's dead.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, some who oppose government-sanctioned homosexual unions have been leading a hunger strike. Meanwhile, the US Supreme Court has put Utah gay marriage on hold until the legal dust settles.
In 2011, Mr. Mbede became a symbol for the LGBT community in Cameroon when he texted a message reading: "I'm very in love with you" to a same-sex official in the presidency's office. Like in many African nations, homosexuality is illegal in Cameroon, and the "prisoner of conscience" was sentenced to a jail term for up to three years.
While Roger Mbede was freed pending an appeal, his next fight was his own failing health... and the family who did not support him. The reason he was released was because he had developed a hernia while in prison. While he tried to get medical treatment, his own family said he was a "curse for them," and that the family should just "let him die." He also had testicular cancer for which he had a surgery in the summer of 2013.
About a month before his death, Mbede apparently was out of the hospital and receiving no further treatment. His family said "they were going to remove the homosexuality which is in him." But his death is being blamed on the Cameroon government by his lawyer, Alice Nkom:
"I accuse the state. If there had not been criminalisation of homosexuality, he would not have gone to prison and his life would not be over. His life was finished as soon as he went to prison."Amnesty International declared Roger Mdebe a prisoner of conscience, which is defined as a person who has "been jailed because of their political, religious or other conscientiously-held beliefs, provided that they have neither used nor advocated violence."