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Detained activist gets medical and family access

Amnesty Report Launch in Cameroon
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Urgent Action Outcome: Detained activist gets medical and family access

Political activist Serge Branco Nana is currently serving a two-year prison sentence for ‘mutiny’ in Mfou Prison.

1st update on UA 09/20

Cameroon: Prisons at risk of ‘becoming epicentres of the pandemic’

© Getty images

The Cameroonian authorities must be transparent about the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, provide detainees with adequate medical care and stop exacerbating overcrowding with arbitrary arrests, Amnesty International said today. While authorities have not confirmed or denied the presence of the virus in detention facilities, Amnesty has received information stating the number of current and former detainees tested positive could be much higher. At least one prisoner has tested positive for the virus at the Kondengui central prison in Yaoundé and has been taken to a health facility outside the

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Activist in need of urgent medical care

Activist in need of urgent medical care

Security forces clash with demonstrators in Douala
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Repression of the opposition

On 26 January 2019, opposition party, Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (MRC) – the party of the candidate that came in second during the October 2018 presidential elections – called for public protests or “marches blanches” across the country, to contest the alleged mass irregularities that occurred during the electoral process.

In response to the unauthorised protests, security forces used excessive force against demonstrators. Seven people were shot and injured in the coastal city of Douala, while other protesters were beaten. A Government spokesperson denied the use of live ammunition against protesters, but sequences of automatic gunfire in Douala, and one of a riot police officer shooting at a protester’s legs, were shown on social media.

More than one hundred protesters were arrested in Douala, Yaoundé, Dschang, Bafoussam and Bafang. Approximately 50 were released the following day and the remaining protesters were placed under administrative custody. Opposition leader, Maurice Kamto, was arrested on 28 January 2019; and high-profile member of the party, lawyer, Michele Ndoki, was also arrested in February. They were charged alongside 130 other people with offences including rebellion, hostility against the nation, incitement to insurrection, and were sent to pre-trial detention.

In October 2019, following an order from President Paul Biya to release some opposition members arrested during the demonstrations, hundreds of political activists, including Maurice Kamto and Michele Ndoki, were released.

Serge Branco Nana could not benefit from this measure, because he was caught up in another case. On 22 July a riot was reported in Kondengui Prison in Yaoundé. According to reports, detained armed separatists from the Anglophone regions and opposition members took possession of the prison yard, denouncing overcrowding in the prison, judicial delays and deplorable conditions.

Serge Branco Nana, who was detained in that prison at the time, was accused of being among the initiators and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, in August. Following the riot, he was taken from the prison and sent to the State Secretariat for Defence (SED), where he reportedly severely beaten for hours and his genitals electrocuted. He was then transferred to Mfou Prison, 30km from Yaounde and around 300km from the West region, making it very difficult for his family, relatives and lawyer to visit.

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Cameroon: 275 killed by Boko Haram in Far North - victims feel abandoned

At least 275 people killed - including 225 civilians - between January and November Kidnappings, forced conversions to Islam, houses burnt, health centres looted Reports that one village population has declined from 3,000 to around 100 inhabitants over the past few years because of regular attacks ‘The attackers told us they had cut an ear off of each of us because they had been unable to capture our husbands, and that next time they would kill us’ – woman from Gakara At least 275 people have been killed and others mutilated or kidnapped during a resurgence of Boko Haram attacks in the Far

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Cameroon: release of detained opposition leader Maurice Kamto welcomed

Maurice Kamto was arrested with hundreds of his supporters © Getty Images

Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon leader released, along with eight of his supporters ‘The authorities should go further by releasing all other individuals arbitrarily detained’ - Samira Daoud Following today’s military court decision to release a group of detained opposition members in Cameroon, Samira Daoud, Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa Deputy Director, said: “President Paul Biya’s announcement of an end to the prosecutions of opposition leader Maurice Kamto and several of his supporters is a welcome step towards ending the long repression of dissenting voices in

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Cameroon: seven soldiers on trial for murder of women and children recorded in 'horrifying' viral video

A video of the killings went viral in July last year Amnesty analysis revealed evidence that the Cameroon military were responsible Seven soldiers are set to go on trial tomorrow (27 August) for the brutal murder of two women and two children. A video of the killings, which went viral in early July 2018, was initially dismissed by the Cameroonian authorities as “fake news”. Amnesty research, however, revealed credible evidence that the Cameroon military was responsible, and the authorities later announced that the seven soldiers depicted in the video had been arrested and would be prosecuted

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Cameroon: gunshots amid prison riot must be investigated

Following the security forces’ use of firearms to quell a riot yesterday evening (23 July) in Cameroon’s Kondengui Central Prison, Marie-Evelyne Petrus Barry, Amnesty International's West and Central Africa Director said: “The authorities in Cameroon must refrain from using excessive force against prisoners, and independently and effectively investigate the use of firearms and live ammunition reported during yesterday’s riot. “Prison conditions are absolutely dire in Kondengui, an overcrowded prison where many prisoners are waiting to be brought before a judge. Until this situation is remedied

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Cameroon: Opposition leader and more than hundred supporters face the death penalty

Opposition leader Maurice Kamto is today due to be summoned by a military court on charges which carry the death penalty, as the Cameroonian authorities intensify their post-election crackdown on critics. Kamto, the president of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (Mouvement pour la Renaissance du Cameroun-MRC) is the first of a group of 131 people arrested last month and charged by the military court with rebellion, hostility against the homeland, incitement to insurrection, offence against the president of the republic, and destruction of public buildings and goods, to be summoned by an

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Cameroon: authorities must act swiftly to free kidnapped schoolchildren

The past two years has seen an ever-worsening spiral of unrest and violence in Anglophone Cameroon © STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

Case is ‘chilling echo’ of Chibok kidnappings in Nigeria Following the abduction of at least 70 schoolchildren earlier today in Cameroon’s Anglophone region, Samira Daoud, Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa Deputy Regional Director, said: “In a case with a chilling echo of the 2014 kidnappings of the Chibok schoolgirls in Nigeria, it is vital that Cameroon’s government act swiftly and decisively to reunite these children with their loved ones. “We express solidarity with the families of these children and demand that the Cameroon authorities do everything in their power to ensure

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