Alice Nkom
Cameroon: Gay Men Released From 5-Year Sentence

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com January 08 2013 3:45 PM ET

An appeals court in Cameroon Monday overturned a five-year sentence for two men found guilty of homosexuality.

The men were sentenced for cross-dressing and wearing makeup. However, their attorney Alice Nkom said the November 2011 conviction was invalid because their actions were never actually witnessed by law enforcement officials.

After serving a year in prison, where they were subjected to abuse from guards and other prisoners, according to the Associated Press, the men were released.

Nkom is also representing a man in a separate case who was sentenced to five years in jail for texting "I'm very much in love with you" to another man. She said she also hopes that the five-year sentence will also be overturned.

"A man cannot be found guilty of practicing homosexuality simply because he sent a message to another man to say he loves him," she said, according to Reuters. "At least two persons of same sex must be caught doing the act before they are arrested and convicted."