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Cameroon’s First Lawyer to Defend Suspected Gay People

In a country where homosexuality is criminalized, Alice Nkom says she has faced attacks and death threats. Despite this, Nkom, who is also the first female lawyer in the country, says she is determined to continue to defend minorities. According to Human Rights Watch, Cameroon brings more cases against suspected homosexuals than any other African country. When arrested, gay people mostly rely on activists and LGBT-friendly lawyers like Alice Nkom. Nkom is campaigning to remove a section in the Cameroon Penal Code that criminalizes sexual contact between members of the same sex.  So far, the law stands, but Nkom has succeeded in winning reduced prison time for about 30 defendants. Her activism has also enabled ten or so pro-LGBT activist groups to emerge in Cameroon, like Alcondoms, a NGO that fight against HIV and do the promotion of human rights among key populations.