General News

Women facing prison in Cameroon for ‘attempted homosexuality’

Rachel Badham March 27, 2021

Mildred Loic is well known for her large social media following

Two trans women in the central African country of Cameroon are facing five years in prison for what authorities have referred to as “attempted homosexuality”. According to Reuters, Mildred Loic, a local social media influencer, and Moute Rolland were arrested on February 8 for wearing women’s clothing while eating in a restaurant. They are facing charges of public indecency and have both been denied bail. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Same-sex relations are punishible by imprisonment in Cameroon, but openly identifying as LGBTQ+ is not illegal, with Alice Nkom, a lawyer who was representing the women saying last month that they should be acquitted as there is no evidence of any crime: “It is not illegal to be homosexual or transgender. According to our law, it is the act which is the crime. This is a flagrant violation of their human rights.”

The Human Rights Watch found “dozens” of LGBTQ+ people have been arrested in Cameroon from 2020-2021, with researcher Ilaria Allegrozzi saying: “We have observed a resurgence in homophobic attacks this year…It is common for people to be abused in detention.” 20 LGBTQ+ people have been arrested and 3 were murdered in February alone. Loic and Rolland’s case is expected to be heard on April 5.