Cameroon’s National Committee for Human Rights and Freedoms (CNDHL) has decried “the frequent prohibition of rallies and public demonstrations by some authorities, as well as the use of violence by the security forces when dispersing public gatherings “.
The state body says these restrictions are a “total violation” of the laws over the holding of rallies and public events, as well as on the maintenance of order.
Apart from the deterioration of the security situation in Adamaoua, marked by the return of roadblocks, the prevalence of militant attacks blamed on the Islamist sect Boko Haram in the Far North as well as secessionist violence in the English-speaking North-West and South-West regions, the CNDHL is deeply concerned by the climate of socio-political tension that has taken hold of the country.
CNDHL denounced “the arrest of certain people, following a public demonstration organized by a political party”, notably the Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (MRC, opposition) whose leader, Maurice Kamto, his close allies as well as 117 supporters, have been detained since 26 January, following peaceful demonstrations organized in Douala, Yaounde and the towns of Bafoussam and Mbouda (West).
Those being detained are accused among other things, of disturbances to public order, rebellion, unlawful gathering, hostility against the fatherland, insurrection, incitement to revolt.
Such charges may attract the death sentence.
In the same vein, the human rights watchdog condemns the acts of vandalism perpetrated by suspected Cameroonians on the same day against the county’s embassies in Germany and France, and calls on political parties to refrain from promoting hate speech in the media.