Monday, July 22, 2019

‘In Cameroon, simply breathing is considered an offense’

In a report of 7 pages, presented to the press on March 8, 2019, the councils of the Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon expose the situation of all those arrested, in connection with the demonstrations of January 26th.

It is a 7-page document that the advocates of the Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (MRC) presented to the press on Friday, March 8, 2019. This is the report on the situation of the 203 people arrested during the demonstrations. organized by the MRC leaders on January 26th.

In the said report, the daily newspaper Le Jour en kiosque reported on 11 March 2019, 37 people are subject to flagrante delicto proceedings at the Yaounde Court of First Instance. Of these, 15 are more or less related to the MRC and 22 to the case of Migration for Development in Africa (MIDA) indicted indiscriminately on January 30, February 1 and 2, 2019. The case was placed under advisement for this March 11th.

“Of the 203 people arrested, 152 were prosecuted in the military court, including 130 of them held in jails: 8 people held in the main prison and 122 in the central prison of Yaoundé,” reports the newspaper.

All these people, denounced the defense lawyers, were arrested without arrest warrant. “People have walked, they are risking the death penalty. 60 years after independence, we are prosecuted for having walked. It will happen one day in this country, where the mere fact of breathing will be considered an offense, “exclaimed Sylvain Souop, who heads the group of defense lawyers.

Among those arrested, according to the report, is a Mr Siewe, a German national.He was reportedly detained in Yaoundé on February 18 when he was making souvenir photos. He was charged by the investigating judge of the Military Tribunal of Yaoundé (TMY), and placed in pre-trial detention in Kondengui Prison.

Of the 146 habeas corpus petitions filed by the defense, 7 have already been rejected, including the one related to Maurice Kamto and his supporters. Two queries are under review. Lawyers are still waiting for a response on 104 release applications filed since February 19 at the TMY. What makes the defense say that these are violations of the rights of detainees.


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