We freed 3 gay men from prison


A and his friend Y (names withheld for their safety) walked free on August 30, having served four years of a five-year sentence imposed after they were reported to police by a hotel receptionist on June 24, 2015. In the short term, their release was made possible by caring people in the United States who contributed money to pay their fines and court costs totaling $777. In the medium term, the men’s liberation was made possible by advocacy journalist Steeves Winner, who writes for the Erasing 76 Crimes blog (76crimes.com) and the companion 76 Crimes en français blog (76crimesFR.com) along with the northern Cameroon gay-rights group Association Jeunes Solidaires de Garoua (AJSG) and attorneys Stephane Aboa and Honoré Kenko of Défenseurs Sans Frontières (DSF). The DSF attorneys worked pro-bono during a one-week exploratory trip to northern Cameroon that was financed by $1,300 in donations. In the longer term, the men’s release was made possible by people backing the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ rights advocacy journalism such as the Erasing 76 Crimes blog. The blog’s seven years of coverage of LGBT rights issues in Cameroon and its support for imprisoned gay Cameroonians laid the groundwork for this month’s achievement in northern Cameroon.

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