After all the solidarity actions and appeals you sent on behalf of Jean-Claude Roger Mbede and others imprisoned in Cameroon under the discriminatory Section 347a of the penal code, which criminalizes homosexuality, Jean-Claude Roger Mbede and other men serving similar sentences in the same prison sent us a letter saying:
“…your support represents hope, for LGBT people in Cameroon in general, and for us in prison in particular.
The hope to one day leave this prison that we’ve been thrown in, but also the hope that one day LGBT people will be able to walk fully free in Cameroon, holding their heads high, without any humiliation.”
Since we last asked you to take action on his case, we’ve learned that Jean-Claude’s next appeal hearing, which has been pushed back several times over the last few months, is now planned for April 16th. Unfortunately, his request for provisional release (while awaiting appeal) was rejected on March 19th by the Court of Appeal.
So the lead-up to this next hearing really is a key time for a strong burst of action to let Paul Biya, the President of Cameroon, know that this discrimination must end, and Jean-Claude must be released. President Biya has a Twitter account, so it’s simple to target him directly. If you don’t use Twitter, you can still send an email here. Following are some tweets you can use:
Call on #Cameroon President @PaulBiya to release Jean-Claude Roger Mbede now! #FreeMbede #LGBT http://bit.ly/freembede Please RT!
#Cameroon President @PaulBiya: Free Jean-Claude Roger Mbede now! #FreeMbede #LGBT http://bit.ly/freembede Please RT!