According to CNN, a Cameroonian court has sentenced two transgender women suspected of “suspicion of homosexuality” and other crimes to five years in prison for “suspicion of homosexuality” and other crimes.
These are local influencers, known as Shakiro and Patricia. They were arrested on February 8, and human rights activists say their detention proves that Cameroon’s criminalization of sexual minorities has increased.
In this case, they can be sentenced to up to five years in prison and must pay a fine of 200,000 CFA francs (approximately 2,300 Kunas).
In addition to “trying to be gay,” they were also convicted for disrupting public order and failing to provide ID cards.
Alice Nkom, a lawyer who vowed to appeal the verdict, said: “This is a political decision. The central government has stated that these people must not bring Cameroon to homosexuals.”
A government spokesperson did not comment on the case.
Cameroon is one of many African countries where same-sex relations are illegal. The court there has sentenced them to several years in prison for their sexual orientation.
Human Rights Watch said last month that the arrests of Shakir and Patricia were part of the police’s overall action against sexual minorities.
Since May 2020, 53 people have been arrested in attacks on HIV and AIDS organizations. Some of those arrested said that they were beaten and subjected to forced “anal examination”, which is a pseudo-scientific method that can be used. “Confirm” allegations of homosexuality.