Douala: Businessman Faces Sex Abuse Probe After Social Media Outcry 0

Lawyers in Cameroon have called for prosecutors to launch an inquiry after dozens of women accused a businessman of sexual attacks in anonymous posts on social media.

The Bar association’s human rights commission said it was aware from social networks of anonymous testimony alleging “indecent exposure, sexual harassment, rapes, threats, illegal confinement and violence against several victims”.

The association’s letter called for an inquiry and urged the prosecution to bring the suspect to court “so that justice can be served in line with the law”.

Minister for women’s empowerment Marie-Therese Abena Ondoa on Friday said she was pleased to see the legal authorities take up the affair.

She urged victims “to break the silence” and offered to “supply the legal authorities with the elements needed to carry out procedures to establish the facts”.

The nation’s human rights commission took up the case on January 19 but on Saturday voiced regret at not being able “to deal with the affair properly” with a full investigation because the accusations are anonymous.

Since mid-January, more than 70 anonymous testimonies have been posted on social networks by a blogger accusing the businessman of sexual violence.

The hashtag StopBopda has taken off on a wave of indignation and seen more than 100,000 tweets on X, former Twitter, as African artists, athletes and influencers take up the cause.

In Douala’s Bali quarter, some 20 activists dressed in black gathered on Friday after the “Stand Up for Cameroon” movement called a protest.

“I am sickened, particularly since the person said to be a kidnapper and rapist is still at liberty on the streets of Douala,” said activist Chantal Egbe, calling on the justice system to prevent him from causing further harm.

Some 22 women linked to civil society groups also sent an open letter to the authorities on Thursday condemning the failure of government services to react to the allegations of sexual violence.

Source: AFP