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Human Rights Watch: Gay suspects being raped, tortured in Cameroon prisons

Human Rights Watch says people accused of being gay in Cameroon are being tortured in prison and mocked by judges in court.

A 61-page report released Thursday documents abuses undertaken by officials pursuing cases under Cameroon's notorious Article 347.

The law criminalizes sexual activity between members of the same sex, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Cameroonian officials could not be reached for comment Thursday on the report.

HRW researcher Neela Ghoshal said there had been a noticeable drop-off in arrests in recent months. But she said the criminalization of homosexuality nonetheless makes gay men and lesbians vulnerable to extortion and other forms of abuse.

Homosexuality is illegal in many African countries, though Cameroon has been especially active in prosecuting and convicting people.