Friday, June 14, 2019

Military Court: tried for demanding the departure of Paul Biya

For almost a month, 4 young people languish in the cells of the judicial police in Yaoundé. Their sin: having asked the Cameroonian president to leave power during a live on the Facebook page of one of them. Accused of rebellion, their case was brought before the military court.

It was like a child's game. Anama Raymond Jules, Yannick, Queba Kuete and Natacha Mongo went to the roundabout of the Central Post Office in Yaounde on May 18th. Date when thousands of Cameroonians in Paris walked peacefully to denounce the power of Yaounde. Equipped with the flag of Cameroon, they shot a live video on Raymond Jules' Facebook page in which he asked for the departure of Paul Biya, 37 years in power and 86 years of age.Then, they were arrested by plainclothes police for an unknown destination. It is a week after we are informed that they are at the Directorate of Judicial Police in Elig Essono, Yaounde.

According to the Student Rights Defense Association of Cameroon (Addec), the four unfortunate and four other young people are accused of rebellion and it is the Military Court of Yaoundé who seized their case. They were also expected at the prosecutor's office of the military court this Wednesday, June 13 but a source in the Addec told they were finally not extracted. For nearly a month, the 8 young Cameroonians, are kept in custody at the judicial police.However, according to the Code of Criminal Procedure, custody can not exceed 6 days.

It is therefore neither more nor less than an arbitrary detention which is in violation of the international legal instruments ratified by Cameroon. In particular, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states in article 9 that "no one may be arbitrarily arrested, detained ...". Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights states: "... no one may be arrested or arbitrarily detained ...". The two international texts also protect freedom of opinion respectively in their Articles 19 for the Declaration and 9 for the Charter.