Jonas is 19 years old. Francky is 20. And a judge in Cameroon just sentenced them both to 5 years in prison for being gay.
Cameroon has several laws that criminalize homosexuality — at least 10 people have been arrested this year alone. Last July, Jonas and Francky were arrested outside a club on suspicion of violating these discriminatory anti-gay laws.
“Violence against gay people in Cameroon has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels: the situation is quickly becoming a crisis,” says human rights attorney Alice Nkom. “The president of Cameroon can put a stop to this and, if he feels enough pressure, he will do so.”
Stephane Koche is a Cameroonian LGBT rights activist working with the organization ADEFHO (Association of Defence of Homosexuals) to free Jonas and Francky. Stephane started a petition on Change.org demanding that Cameroonian president Paul Biya free Jonas and Francky immediately. Please sign Stephane’s petition today.
The good news is that Cameroonian leaders have been responsive to pressure in cases like Jonas and Francky’s. Indeed, pressure from local activists has already helped to free 3 of those 10 individuals who were arrested, and this past May, global pressure on the president of Malawi compelled him to release a gay couple who had been jailed after they got married.
If President Biya feels international pressure to release Jonas and Francky, he will do so, but time is of the essence. Please sign Stephane’s petition right now demanding that President Biya free two men sentenced to 5 years in prison for being gay:
Thanks for being a change-maker,
- CAMEROON Sentences Three ‘Effeminate Men’ to Maximum Prison Time (oblogdeeoblogda.wordpress.com)
- Amnesty: Cameroon must release men on gay sex charges (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Demand Cameroon release gay men sentenced to five years in prison (our-compass.org)
- Cameroon homosexuality trial condemned (guardian.co.uk)
- Amnesty international urge Cameroon to release couple set for sexuality trial (therainbowpost.com)
- Cameroon President Biya sworn in (bbc.co.uk)
- Frank Biya set to succeed Paul Biya in Cameroon (juliusche.com)
- Cameroon Sends Three Men to Prison for Five Years for Gay Sex (towleroad.com)
- All Out – CRISIS IN CAMEROON: STAND WITH ALICE (worldwright.wordpress.com)
- Cameroon: Three Men Receive Five-Year Jail Sentence for ‘Being Gay’ (ibtimes.com)