For Immediate Release
P: +1 646 549 0130; firstname.lastname@example.org
(January 14 – New York) Today, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), a twenty year-old organization with offices around the world, wrote to President Paul Biya of Cameroon to express deep concern over recent threats to human rights defenders and organizations advocating for the protection of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. In recent days, Alice Nkom, Chairperson of L’Assocation pour la Défense de l’ Homosexualité (ADEFHO), has been threatened by state officials with possible arrest and with violence from segments of civil society. IGLHRC calls upon the government of Cameroon to ensure that Madame Nkom is not arrested and to ensure the safety of her, of all members of ADEFHO and of all LGBT Cameroonians in the face of threat of violence. (For more detailed information about this series of escalating incidents, please see letter to President Paul Biya of Cameroon below.)
Quote from Cary Alan Johnson, Executive Director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission:
Alice Nkom took on the cases of young men arrested in Cameroon in 2005 on charges related to homosexuality when few other lawyers would risk it. No ally of the movement for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people has taken more risks and stood up more fiercely to discrimination. For the government to threaten her with arrest is nothing less than an attempt to silence the progress of a human rights movement by attempting to muzzle one of its spokespersons. This attack hinders the tremendous progress Alice and other human rights leaders in Cameroon are making toward creating a more just society. We urge the government of Cameroon to cease all attempts to intimidate LGBT human rights defenders and to protect them from threat of violence.