24, July 2017
The regime in Yaounde has accused Amnesty International of supporting the Nigerian Islamic sect, Boko Haram and of hostility towards the Cameroonian nation. The Cameroon government has also revealed that military experts were studying Amnesty’s latest report, with a view to considering either prosecution or banning the NGO on Cameroonian territory.
In its latest report, “Chambers of Secret Torture in Cameroon: Human Rights Violations and War Crimes in the Fight against Boko Haram,” the NGO published satellite images and observed that war crimes were being committed by the Biya Francophone Beti Ewondo regime. “Cameroon security forces continued to arbitrarily arrest individuals accused of supporting Boko Haram, often with little or no evidence, and detained them in inhumane, often life-threatening conditions. Hundreds of suspects were held in unofficial detention centres, such as military bases or premises belonging to the national intelligence agencies, without access to a lawyer or their families. The security forces continued to use “cordon and search” operations, leading to mass arrests,” noted the Amnesty report.
The much respected NGO further pointed out that, “Dozens of men, women and children accused of supporting Boko Haram were tortured by members of the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR), an elite army unit, at the military base known as Salak, near Maroua, and by officers of the General Directorate of External Research (DGRE), an intelligence service, in premises in the capital, Yaoundé. Some of them died as a result of torture; others disappeared.”
A frustrated minister of communication and so-called government spokesman, Issa Tchiroma reacted during a recent press briefing in Yaounde that “Amnesty International is continuing its logic of protecting terrorist interests and is trying to discourage the support and cooperation that armies of friendly countries bring to Cameroon.” Amnesty has also made public satellite images of Cameroon military’s operational bases with GPS wartime data.
By Rita Akana
Cameroon Concord News