"I've heard countless recent stories of homophobic violence throughout the country. I'm 66, and in ten years of defending LGBT people in Cameroon, it has never been this bad." - Alice N'Kom
10 Oct - "Your support is having an immediate impact. I just heard that the issue is being closely monitored at the highest levels of our government. The Ministry of Justice knows the world is watching and that Cameroon's reputation is at stake. I have seen what it did when 50,000 mobilized, now let's get to 100,000" - Alice N'Kom
Posted: 15 September 2011
Alice N'Kom is one of the only attorneys in Cameroon who defends people who've been jailed for the "crime" of being gay.
In the last 2 weeks, gay men have been snatched from their homes and public places and thrown in jail just for being gay. The situation is approaching a crisis and Alice told us she and her colleagues are ready to confront the President to demand the release of those arrested and an end to laws that make being gay a crime. But she needs the support of people around the world:
"I need to show the president of Cameroon that the world is behind me".
Please sign the urgent letter, then ask your friends and family to do the same. Alice and her colleagues are brave enough speak out, and it only takes a minute to add your voice and to make theirs even stronger.
My name is Alice N'Kom, and here in Cameroon I am one of the only attorneys who defends people who've been jailed because they are gay.
In the last two weeks violence against gay people in Cameroon has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels: the situation is quickly becoming a crisis. The president of Cameroon can put a stop to this, and if he feels enough pressure he will do so.
I'm watching police in Cameroon conduct an anti-gay crackdown - over 10 people have been arrested on charges of "homosexuality" in the last months. One of them, Jean-Claude, has been sentenced to 3 years in prison merely for sending a text message to another man. I've heard countless recent stories of homophobic violence throughout the country. I'm 66, and in ten years of defending lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) people in Cameroon, it has never been this bad.
Only one person can put an end to this gay bashing - President Paul Biya. He can stop the escalating crisis of homophobic roundups and attacks, and he can immediately release those arrested and call for the end of Cameroon's laws against homosexuality.
Time is running out. I'm headed to Cameroon's capital, Yaoundé, to confront the President with these demands. He will not be able to ignore a powerful outcry from every corner of the globe. I am counting on your help.
Alice N'Kom, Cameroonian attorney ?
Founder of the Association for the Defense of LGBT Rights in Cameroon (ADEFHO)
in partnership with Alternatives-Cameroun