March 11, 2015 – Reported by the Guardian.com – Alice Nkom knows she might not be alive today were it not for international support for her battle to defend homosexuals in Cameroon. But now she wants the world to do more to breathe life into the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and make it tangible for all, including gay people in Africa.
Nkom, a lawyer, has been in London to drum up support – both financial and moral – for her decade-long fight for homosexual rights in Cameroon, one of 38 African countries in which homosexuality is a criminal offence.
Under Article 347 bis of its penal code, Cameroon prosecutes, sentences and jails “inordinately large numbers of persons” for consensual sexual relations between persons of the same sex, according to a February report by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).
The report found threats to people identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex activists had risen sharply since 2010.
With two cases before the supreme court, Nkom is challenging the constitutionality of the article, which punishes same-sex relations with up to five years in jail and a hefty fine.
“If we unite our efforts and our resources, we will get the supreme court to join the other supreme courts in the world to firmly condemn the use of Article 347 as a basis for legal action or verdicts,” she said.
“I need everyone because right now, I am a little isolated,” said Nkom, who founded the Association for the Defence of Homosexuals (ADEFHO) in 2003. “It’s on occasions like this that we must show we are one, united, universal in this fight.”…story continues below…