Steave Nemande, a Cameroonian doctor and human rights activist, will receive Human Rights Watch’s Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism in November 2010 for promoting the decriminalization of homosexual conduct in Africa, in the face of intense discrimination toward gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender (LGBT) people in most countries across the continent.
Millions of Africans are affected by discriminatory laws that target LGBT people. Many are forced to live in secrecy, fearing arrest as well as violence, blackmail, and harassment in their communities. Nemande’s courage and expertise in this threatening climate in both Cameroon and the region have brought his organization, Alternatives-Cameroun, international respect. The organization was recently granted observer status by the African Commission.
“Steave Nemande is working to promote better understanding among all Africans,” said Boris Dittrich, acting director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. “He has shown enormous courage in seeking full human rights and decent treatment for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people in a threatening and repressive atmosphere.”
The Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives at risk to protect human dignity and create a world where people live free of violence, discrimination, and oppression. Human Rights Watch honors Steave Nemande for his tireless work to promote and defend the human rights of LGBT people in Africa.
For more information about Nemande, please visit: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/10/08/steave-nemande-cameroon