Human Rights Watch has called on the authorities in Cameroon to protect two lawyers who have been on the receiving end of death threats because of their LGBT advocacy work.

The New York-based organisation said the country’s government should publicly denounce the threats made against Michel Togue and Alice Nkom.

Both have received correspondence claiming the lives of their children and families are at risk.

Earlier this week, Ms Nkom revealed that she had been called a “lesbian whore” in a text message which also said that it was her turn to “suffer”.

Mr Togue has also received similar threats, with one individual sending him photos of his children leaving school in an email.

In response, Neela Ghoshal from Human Rights Watch said: “Cameroonian authorities should immediately investigate to find out who is threatening these courageous human rights defenders.”

She added: “The government should make clear to the public that everyone has a right to defence, and that threats against defence attorneys will not be tolerated.”

Last week, American and European officials called for the release of two Cameroonian men, convicted under the country’s anti-gay laws.

They were prosecuted on a range of dubious accusations including their preference for consuming the Irish cream liqueur-based drink Baileys.