The German branch of Amnesty International announced last week that it will award its Human Rights Prize to attorney Alice Nkom of Cameroon, who continues to battle for the rights of LGBT people there.
The award will go to her and her organization ADEFHO (Association for the Defense of Homosexuals) in a formal presentation in Berlin on March 18, 2014.
“In a climate of daily threat , human rights defender Alice Nkom and their employees risked their lives to fight for the rights of lesbian, gay and transgender people in Cameroon,” Amnesty International said.
“Alice Nkom is a courageous woman who fights for the human rights. She is a role model for activists in Africa,” said Selmin Çalışkan, director of Amnesty International Germany.
The group added:
In recent years, the persecution of gays and lesbians has increased dramatically in Africa. In a total of 36 sub-Saharan countries homosexual acts are considered a crime . The Cameroonian Penal Code provides for up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $350 for same-sex sexual acts.
In 2003, Alice Nkom founded ADEFHO , the first non-governmental organization in Cameroon that advocates for the protection and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. ADEFHO provides medical treatment , psychological counseling, sex education , mediation, safety training and legal advice. In addition, since 2006, Alice Nkom has defended people who are on trial because of their sexual orientation or identity.
As a result, she continues to receive death threats. Although senior government officials have threatened her with arrest, Alice Nkom has not been intimidated. She uses every opportunity to raise awareness in public events and media.
With the Human Rights Award, every two years the German section of Amnesty International honors individuals and organizations who work in difficult conditions for human rights. The goal of the award is to acknowledge the dedication of these people , to support them and to make their work known to the German public.
The award is endowed with 10,000 euros provided by the Foundation Human Rights, Amnesty Support Foundation. In 2014, the Human Rights Award will be awarded for the seventh time. Previous winners have included: Monira Rahman of Bangladesh (2006) and Women of Zimbabwe Arise from Zimbabwe (2008 ) and Abel Barrera from Mexico ( 2011).
- Nkom: ‘Une potentielle grande victoire’ au Cameroun (76crimes.com)
- Cameroon appeal: Concrete steps to fight anti-gay violence (76crimes.com)
- Cameroon police can’t be bothered to probe activist’s murder (76crimes.com)
- Arsonists, burglars attack LGBT advocates in Cameroon (76crimes.com)