06/25/2013

Alice Nkom' is the Opening Speaker at the International Human Rights Conference

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Alice Nkom' from Cameroon has accepted to be the opening speaker of the conference on July 31st, 2013. Read part one and part two of her speech.

Alice Nkom is a Cameroon lawyer who came into worldwide renown in 2008 for taking on the defense of people accused of homosexual acts in her country. She sets an example for lawyers in many other countries where persecution of LGBT people is a flagrant breach of Human Rights.

She is married and the mother of two children in Douala. She has been lawyer for forty years. She has attracted international attention by her courageous stance on a wide array of topics, and in 2008 she was the leading lawyer defending young victims of severe police violence after large scale demonstrations. Lately, homosexuality has become a major issue in many African countries. Cameroon stands out for the severity with which the judicial apparatus – police and courts – persecute LGBT people. Alice Nkom’ also strongly opposes heavy social censure. She founded ADEFHO (Association pour la défense de l’homosexualité) that offers general assistance to people arrested, detained or convicted for their sexual orientation. Since 2003 she has defended more than 30 cases of people accused of homosexual acts – sometimes with some success, such as with the release of two young men in January 2013 after being sentenced to five years in prison in November 2011.

"Since 2008 Alice has been facing regular threats because of her sense of justice and her courage," said Tamara Adrian Hernandez, co-chair of the LGBT Human Rights Conference of worldOutgames III in Antwerpen.  "Even the magistrates association of Cameroon intended to strike her from the Cameroonian bar because of her commitment to defend LGBT Rights. She faces regular death threats via email and text messages without any investigation from the police.  She is the right person to come to Antwerp for the LGBT Human Rights conference."

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