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Cameroon: ‘Drinking Bailey’s means you are gay’

By Sam Rigby

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An attorney in Cameroon has claimed that the African nation’s authorities use stereotypes to prosecute men they believe to be gay.

Michel Togue – who has defended multiple men who have been labelled gay in Cameroon – said that one man was threatened with prosecution after he was seen drinking Bailey’s Irish Cream.

He has also represented a group of men who were sentenced to five years in jail for dressing effeminately.

Togue explained to the Think Progress blog: “To catch people having sex, to catch them in the act, you have to break the law. You have to violate their privacy, which is an offence.

“But the police will not focus on the offence of breaking the privacy of someone, but they will focus on the fact that they saw two people of the same gender having sex.”

In Cameroon, it remains illegal to engage in sexual activity with somebody of the same sex. Gay men and women face five-year jail sentences, as well as hefty financial penalties.

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