Cameroon police re-arrest 2 gay men whom court freed

Published: March 26, 2013

Two gay men, released from a Cameroon prison in January, have again been arrested. They have been held in police custody for the past two days, since shortly after they were attacked in a local marketplace on Sunday, March 24.

The incident began when Jonas Singa Kumie and Franky Djome (Franky Ndome), variously described as gay men and as transgender, went shopping last Sunday at the Essos market in Yaoundé. They dressed as they usually do — in women’s attire and wearing wigs. From a distance, their sexy outfits could give the impression of two young ladies shopping at the market. But in this particular market, their identities could not go unnoticed. They are well known, because Franky ran a hair salon here before being sent to prison in 2011 to serve a five-year sentence for homosexuality.

They are also known outside Cameroon, because of news reports about their trial, at which the judge imposed the maximum sentence after commenting  that they were obviously effeminate because they wore wigs and had drunk Baileys, which he said is a typically feminine drink.

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