ROGER MBEDE APPEAL POSTPONED
Fri, 21 September 2012The Cameroonian man sentenced to three years in prison for sending another man a romantic SMS will now have his appeal heard in November, reports Erasing 76 Crimes.
Roger Jean-Claude Mbédé's appeal hearing had been set for this past Monday but was rescheduled to 19 November due to changes in the panel of judges and missing court papers.
Mbédé has served a year of his sentence but was recently released for medical treatment. He is expected to remain out of prison, at least until the appeal is concluded.
Monday's hearing was attended by representatives from numerous local and international human and gay rights groups.
Amnesty International considers Mbédé to be a prisoner of conscience; imprisoned solely because of his real or perceived sexual orientation.
A new online petition calling for Mbédé's release has been backed by over 100,000 people.
Mbédé was arrested in March 2011 by Cameroon’s security police after he sent an SMS, declaring "I'm very much in love w/u," to a man who then showed it to the authorities.
On 28 April last year he was found guilty on charges of homosexuality and attempted homosexuality and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.