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Seven Jailed in Cameroon for being Fags

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    Has Equal Rights

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The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission said Tuesday it has learned seven men accused of sodomy have been sentenced to prison in a second trial after the government refused to accept a not guilty verdict in their first court appearance.

All seven were sentenced to 10-month jail terms.

They have been in jail for more than a year but it is not yet clear if that will be applied against the sentences. Cameroon traditionally does not recognized "time served" but the IGLHRC said Tuesday it expects they will be released shortly.

One of the men, Christian Angoula, suffered a homophobic attack by fellow prisoners last week and had to be carried into the courtroom by one of his fellow prisoners, the IGLHRC said in a statement.

The seven were among 11 men arrested during a June 2005 raid on a gay bar. Two men were later convicted and two others released.

In April, at the initial trial of the remaining seven, Judge Tonye, the magistrate overseeing the case, declared the men innocent of all charges after the prosecution called not witnesses and presented no proof that a crime had occurred.

The government refused to accept the verdict and ordered the men held pending a new trial. (story)

Homosexuality is illegal in the African nation. A conviction could have resulted in sentences up to five years in prison.

"One wonders on what basis the convictions were made as there was no evidence presented by the prosecution of the commission of sodomy,

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