7, August 2019
I come to you with revolutionary greetings from your President, Sisiku AyukTabe and his team in the Principal Prison in Kondengui, Yaounde. Today marks the eighth day of their hunger strike.
Yesterday, Tuesday the 6th of August 2019, lawyers of the Interim Government reported to the President and his team that they had seen Comrades Macho Bibixy, Penn Terence, Tsi Conrad, Ngalim Felix, Babila Vena and other frontline leaders that have been unaccounted for since the peaceful prison demonstration on the 22nd of July 2019, asking for better living conditions or unconditional release.
We can confirm that they have now been returned to the central prison in Kondengui,Yaoundé. They have been abused in the most horrifying way known to man. They have all received multiple stitches from alarming cruelties. They have broken bones and multiple bruises. Some of them have lost some teeth. They have all suffered severe weight loss. But we thank God that they are all alive.
The attention has now been moved to Buea where progress has been slow. Our team of six lawyers have informed us that during the peaceful prison protests of 23rd July 2019 where political detainees were demanding for an improvement in their living conditions and unconditional release, the doors of the prison where opened by the authorities for the military to enter and kill comprehensively. Upon entering the prison, they shot at prisoners indiscriminately killing four and wounding over seventy-five. Of the four killed one corpse was carried and deposited at the Regional Hospital, Buea and the other three were carried away to an unknown destination. Nobody knows where they were deposited.
Five of the wounded were taken to the Regional Hospital where they are in critical conditions whilst the others are being managed within the prison medical wing. The French Cameroun authorities aren’t allowing our lawyers’ access to any of the political detainees. Our lawyers have confirmed that sixty political detainees were moved into an unventilated water torture chamber in the aftermath of the demonstrations. They were there until the 5th of August 2019. From the prison, our lawyers went to the Regional Hospital, Buea where they weren’t allowed to see the five political prisoners admitted there after their ordeal. During a short trip to the military court, they succeeded to discuss with some of the detainees who corroborated all the facts they have gathered.
Today, they will be informing the Prison authorities and the Minister of Justice of their intent to see the political detainees and the whereabouts of the three massacred comrades.
In all this sad public tragedy, the cruelty of the French Cameroun authorities is being laid bare for the world to see. For engaging in peaceful protests about their living conditions, our comrades have sustained life-threatening injuries, endured Nazi-style torture and lost their lives. The fact that the Cameroon authorities have considerable disregard for our lives strengthens our case for freedom and independence. Southern Cameroonians, rich or poor, educated or untrained should be under no illusions as to the enormity of the state-sponsored cruelty we face. The barbarisms ditched upon our comrades are not isolated incidents. They are well planned, rehearsed and authorized from the highest tier of Cameroun power.
Our President and his team have made it clear to the world that the hunger strike will only be called off after the lawyers’ confirmation of seeing all our political detainees or knowing the whereabouts of the massacred. This position hasn’t changed despite their frail bodies. Their bodies are frail but their minds and determination remain resilient. We must take inspiration from them. Our resolve and determination should not falter despite the turbulent times. The pressure on the French Cameroun authorities has paid some dividends but we must keep it up.
We must continue to make the case that this ill-fated fifty-eight years political experience can’t endure. It’s freedom now or resistance forever.
Dabney Yerima, Vice President
Issued 7th of August 2019