Free 11 imprisoned LGBT victims of homophobia

Evan, Kane, Roro, Gold, Medgar, Dylan, Nick and Allen are locked up in a Cameroonian prison, serving sentences for whom and how they love.  

Those eight gay and lesbian Cameroonians are serving sentences ranging from 18 months to two years after being convicted on homosexuality charges amid the nation's renewed crackdown on its LGBT citizens. After their prison sentences end, they will go free -- but only if they can pay fines and court costs ranging from $315 to $370 that were imposed on them as part of their sentences.

None of them has the money to pay those fines, so they face the prospect of working off the fines by remaining a further four to six months in their cells.

Project Not Alone 2021, organized by the Erasing 76 Crimes  news site, is raising money to pay their fines and set them free early.

Project Not Alone 2021 is also raising money to allow human rights activists to deliver food and hygiene items to the LGBT prisoners, because the dirty, crowded prison forces inmates to live on one small meal per day.

The project is also seeking funds to pay the expenses for attorneys who have agreed to work pro bono in defense of three other imprisoned victims  of Cameroon's homophobia. They are Ford and Bill, a gay couple who have been at the prison awaiting trial since March 2020, and Nicky, a trans man who has been imprisoned without trial since February 2020.

None of the 11 prisoners has been charged with any criminal offenses other than homosexuality.

The fundraising goal for Project Not Alone 2021 is $7,226. That's $3,014 to pay the eight LGBT men's fines; $1,982 for a series of four bimonthly deliveries of food and hygiene items to all 11 LGBT prisoners; and $2,230 for the expenses of pro-bono legal representation for Ford, Bill and Nicky. (For each of those three men, the estimated legal expenses include $367 for initial court filings and copies of court documents, $321 in fees and other follow-up expenses, and $55 for a required security deposit. Their attorneys will work for free.)

The financial sponsor for the project is the St Paul s Foundation for International Reconciliation , which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site.

The illustration above is by Vincent Kyabayinze, East Africa Visual Artists (EAVA Artists).

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Colin Stewart
Laguna Niguel, CA
Saint Paul's Foundation for International Reconciliation
Registered nonprofit
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