Cameroon Man Imprisoned For Homosexual Acts

A man in Cameroon has been imprisoned for two years after he was charged with committing homosexual acts and for an offence against a minor, both of which are illegal in the country.

The teenage minor, who was caught with the man, has also been given a suspended one-year sentence, which was handed down to them in the country’s capital, Yaounde.

However, despite only being convicted recently, Joseph Ombga might be released in the very near future as he has been in custody for almost two years already. Ombga was fined $100 too, which is around the same as his legal fees.

Cameroon, like many African countries, is rife with homophobia, and the country’s maximum penalty for being caught in a homosexual act is five years in prison.

Ombga was originally arrested in August 2011 after he was caught trying to sell a pornographic video; however, the minor and another individual were then arrested because they simply went to visit Ombga in prison.

The minor, who is now 16, was incarcerated when he was aged just 14 and was never held in a detention center, but the third man, who was in custody since he was arrested, was acquitted.

Last week, Eric Ohena Lemembe, a prominent gay rights activist in Cameroon, was found murdered in his home, and his body had also been tortured too. Lemembe’s face, hands, and feet had been burned, and both of his feet had been broken.

Neela Ghoshal, who works for Human Rights Watch, stated, “The friends who found Lembembe’s body have made a statement to the police, but at this point it’s hard to tell whether the police are really investigating.”

Friends discovered his corpse on Monday evening after they’d been unable to get a hold of him via his phone for several days. Cameroon’s officials are coming under more and more scrutiny as they appear to have repeatedly ignored these attacks.