Two Cameroonian transgender women sentenced in May to five years in prison were released on Tuesday pending the outcome of their appeal, their lawyer and an NGO said.
Shakiro, very present and known on social networks in Cameroon, and Patricia, imprisoned since February, “are free” after having “benefited from a measure of provisional release” of the Court of Appeal of Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon, announced their lawyer, Me Richard Tamfu.
“The release decision was made during the appeal process” of the two convicted, confirmed Alice Nkom, president of the Association for the Defense of Homosexual Rights (Adefho).
In May, the two defendants were convicted of “attempted homosexuality, public indecency and lack of a national identity card” before being sentenced in the first instance to five years’ imprisonment each, the heaviest sentence provided for under the laws against homosexual practices in this Central African country.
Homosexuality is criminalized in Cameroon, with penalties ranging from six months to five years in prison for anyone who has sex with a person of the same sex.