two_lesbians_releases_suspended_sentence_CameroonTwo women in Cameroon have been released after being jailed for nine months while awaiting trial on homosexuality charges.

The blog Erasing 76 Crimes, reports that the women, identified only as Liliane and Nicole, were found guilty earlier this month. On Thursday last week they were sentenced to two years in prison.

This was, however, suspended for three years. While they now have a criminal conviction, they at least have their freedom – as long as they do not commit the same “crime” again.

The women were arrested in November 2013 in Ebolowa, in southern Cameroon. After months of having no legal representation, human rights lawyer Michel Togué stepped in to assist them in May.

He told the blog that Liliane and Nicole will require support in order to be able to reintegrate themselves into Cameroonian society, one in which homosexuality is taboo.

Togué is one of the few lawyers willing to take on LGBT clients in the country. He has received death threats against him and his children and was forced to send his family to the US. In June last year, his Yaoundé offices were broken into and burgled.

Same-sex sexual acts are illegal in Cameroon, with penalties of up to five years imprisonment. The country is said to have the highest rate of conviction of LGBT people in the world. In February it was reported that there were at least 20 people languishing in prison in Cameroon on homosexuality charges.

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