EU’s Ashton condemns Cameroon sentence on homosexuality

 

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton arrives at the EU Headquarters on December 13, 2012 in Brussels (AFP/File, Thierry Charlie//

BRUSSELS — EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Thursday condemned a Cameroonian court ruling upholding a three-year prison sentence for homosexuality, saying it breached international law on human rights.

Ashton’s spokesman said in a statement she was “deeply concerned” by an appeals court decision this week to uphold a three-year prison sentence for homosexuality against Cameroonian student Jean-Claude Mbede.

The statement added that “penalising homosexuality is incompatible with international law on human rights” and that Cameroon must respect the universal declaration of human rights, which guarantees equal rights to all and the right to a fair trial.

Mbede was arrested last year at the home of a person to whom he had sent the text message, “I’m very in love with you”, and was sentenced to three years behind bars.

His sentencing is among several similar high-profile cases in the central African country, where homosexuality is outlawed and can result in sentences of up to five years in prison.

Ashton said she hoped that an appeal to Cameroon’s Supreme Court would overturn the sentence.

Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.

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