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4 Women Arrested in Cameroon for Being Lesbian

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Mar 7, 2014
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According to Gay Star News , four lesbians have been arrested in Cameroon and sent to prison recently because of their sexuality.

The women were allegedly arrested in one of their homes in Ebolowa, which is located in southern Cameroon. LGBT rights activists reportedly said the women were then taken to Kondengui Central Prison in Yaoundé, the capital of the Central African country, which is bordered by Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic.

Gay Star News reports that the prison is "notorious for its harsh conditions, with it receiving international criticism over its overcrowding, poor sanitation and inadequate food." According to Wikipedia, it is a maximum-security prison and has been subjected to several international criticisms. It can hold 1,500 inmates but only has 16 toilets and 400 beds. In 2002, prisoners were given one meal a day and given 4.4 ounces of soap every six months. The U.S. Department of State issued a report in 2003, sharply criticizing Cameroon’s prison system, noting that Kondengui was extremely overcrowded, holding 9,530 people. In 2011, Amnesty International said the prison was "harsh, with inmates suffering overcrowding, poor sanitation and inadequate food. Prison guards are poorly trained, ill-equipped and their numbers inadequate for a big prison population."

The Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS is currently investigating the imprisonment of the four women in order to gain more details about the case in hopes of providing assistance to them.

Cameroon bans gay sex and those accused of having same-sex relations face up to five years in prison and can be hit with a fine. Nevertheless, people who are suspected of being gay can be subjected to the same punishments.

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