23, August 2016
Legal practitioners in Cameroon have denounced the mistreatment of people sentenced in connection with the fight against terrorism. Cameroon Concord News has gathered that between July 2015 and July 2016, the courts in the Far North Region of Cameroon have delivered over a hundred sentences of capital punishment.
Barrister Mohamad Al Amine, lawyer of the Cameroon Bar, practicing in the city of Maroua who confirmed the information also revealed that these death sentences all involved suspected Boko Haram militants. Lawyer Mohamad Al Amine who is one of only seven lawyers in the region ravaged by rampant attacks orchestrated by the Nigerian Islamic sect Boko Haram deplored the conditions under which those convicted, including “more innocent” are judged.
A journalist reporting for Cameroon Intelligence Report recently opined that the defense of all terrorism related cases have been left to CPDM appointed lawyers for a fee of 5,000 CFA francs per accused. Cameroon-info.net noted in a story on the Boko Haram trials that most of the lawyers appointed by the state counsel cannot even gain access to case files let alone to visit their clients. The prisoners have no contact with their families, lawyers and doctors.
Cameroon government spokesman and minister of communication, Issa Tchiroma has failed to provide a detailed report on the goings-on in the Far North region. We now can reveal that our forces of law and order backed by the CPDM regime are only interested in applying the so-called new terrorism law voted by the national assembly. Calls by members of the Cameroon Bar Association for more humanity in the treatment of those sentenced to death are being ignored by the Biya Francophone Beti-Ewondo regime.
The testimony about the poor treatment of those on the death row in the Far North Region was made public during the launching of activities by the Network of Cameroonian Lawyers against the death penalty in Cameroon (RACOPEM) that took place in Limbe . Members of the body have adopted a firm stand to abolish the death penalty. For them, this type of condemnation not only violates the constitution and international treaties signed by the government but is also not effective in deterring criminals. Barrister Eta Besong Junior, former president of the Cameroon Bar has called on his colleagues to fight this battle with courage and abnegation.
By Rita Akana with files from Cameroon-info.net