Sunday, March 10, 2019

Cameroon: Human Rights Watch worries for Maurice Kamto trial

The Non-Governmental Organization believes that the judgment of the militants of the MRC by a military court raises real questions about the legality of this jurisdiction.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), in a report released on Thursday, March 7, 2019, reports on the habeas corpus petition filed by Maurice Kamto's defense lawyers and his detained supporters. The Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) finds that the Yaoundé Military Court has refused to release Maurice Kamto and six of his supporters, arrested in January on "politically motivated charges".

The NGO reports that "Kamto and his supporters have been detained as part of the government's massive crackdown on demonstrations and political activities, including the arrest of more than 200 people on January 26th. . Since then, political activists have been regularly threatened and harassed.

According to HRW, the arrests of Kamto and his supporters, highlight the narrowing political space in Cameroon and the impunity with which the security forces can ignore Cameroonian law.

"These arrests seem to be a politically motivated initiative aimed at curbing dissent, and the events of the past few months call into question the very possibility of a fair trial for Kamto. Cameroonians - political and non-political opponents - should be able to expect the authorities to abide by the law instead of blatantly violating it, "says Lewis Mudge, director for Central Africa at Africa's Human Rights division. Watch.

As a reminder, the application for provisional release of Maurice Kamto and his co-defendants was rejected Thursday, March 7 by Georges Theophile Timba, the president of the court of first instance of Yaoundé. The defendants should remain in prison throughout their trial.