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Court overturns 'looking gay' conviction

Jan. 9, 2013 at 4:05 PM   |   Comments

YAOUNDE, Cameroon, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A Cameroon appeals court overturned the convictions of two men found guilty of homosexuality for wearing women's clothes, a rights group reported.

Jonas Kimie and Franky Ndome were arrested outside a nightclub in July 2011 and sentenced that November to five years in prison. An appellate court overturned their conviction Monday.

"The judge who originally sentenced them had stated that the way they dressed, the way they spoke and the fact that they drank Bailey's Irish Cream proved they were gay," Alice N'Kom, their lawyer, told the global gay rights group all Out.

"The acquittal of two Cameroonian men jailed for looking gay because they wore women's clothes exposes the systematic discrimination against perceived homosexuals in the country," Amnesty International said Wednesday in a statement.

The rights group said the men denied a police claim they were having oral sex in a taxi they were traveling in, and their attorney said authorities never saw them engage in sex.

Homosexuality is prohibited in Cameroon, and sentences for homosexual acts vary between six months to five years, CNN said.

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