The men had been sentenced to five years, reports

Human rights advocates say the men were abused in prison by guards and other prisoners who targeted them because of their alleged homosexuality, which is illegal in the country.

Singa Kimie and Ndjome Francky were arrested in the capital, Yaoundé, in July 2011. Local reports said they were accused of wearing “effeminate” clothing and ordering a “gay” drink — Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Gay rights advocates have long pressed for change in Cameroon, which has some of the harshest ant-gay laws in the world.

But although the men’s release was seem as  a positive step, it came on the heels of a decision to uphold the five-year sentence of Roger Jean-Claude Mbede who was jailed for texting the words “I’m very much in love with you” to a man.