14, October 2020
Of UN double standards, hundreds of French Camerounians jailed in Biya regime crackdown and Ambazonian leaders 0
The international human rights community has demanded that Cameroon releases some 200 opposition activists held in custody since protests held more than three weeks ago.
They could face terrorism and national security charges and trial in a military court for their demands for national dialogue, electoral system reforms and the return of peace to English-speaking regions of the country.
Demonstrators turned out in response to an appeal by opposition party Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (MRC).
More than 500 people reportedly were initially arrested.
The government’s response is the latest crackdown by the administration of President Paul Biya on opposition activists.
“We are extremely worried about mass arrests of peaceful protesters and political activists who express dissent,” United Nations experts jointly stated.
They expressed concern at excessive use of force against peaceful demonstrators by the Cameroonian security forces.
“The violence against protesters was indiscriminate, with tear gas and water cannon used to violently disperse them,” the experts stated.
The experts also expressed alarm at reports of torture of protesters and journalists in detention. “This is truly unacceptable.”
Maurice Kamto, the MRC president, is the most high profile figure detained.
Security forces have reportedly prevented him from communicating with party members and lawyers.
Cameroon has been in crisis in recent years following opposition to alleged misrule by Biya’s government.
Militants in English-speaking regions are also agitating for independence citing alleged marginalization by government.
The UN double-standards was in full display in La Republique du Cameroun. Prof Kamto is the French Cameroun opposition leader who competed with Mr Paul Biya in the last presidential election in 2018. At the end of which he claimed that he won.
He called for a massive demonstration against the French Cameroun political system in January 2019. He and many of his supporters were arrested and detained for nine months.
Prof Maurice Kamto including senior officials were detained at the Yaoundé Principal prison where President Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and the Nera10 are currently being held.
After the so-called Major National Dialogue (MND) on the Ambazonian crisis, Prof Kamto and his team were released in October 2019. There was no mention of the release of the Ambazonian leader President Sisiku AyukTabe and his top aides, in spite of the fact that the MND was meant to address the crisis in the British Southern Cameroons.
Prof Kamto’s party, the CRM, boycotted the elections in 2020. He called for another demonstration on the 22nd Sep 2020. He has even since been placed into a kind of house arrest at his residence in Yaoundé. The UN is now calling for his immediate release while the same world body is maintaining a deliberate silence on the plight of the Ambazonian leaders in French Cameroun detention centers.
Reporter by CAJ News and Camcordnews