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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Cameroon: Six members of President Paul Biya's security guards arrested in Switzerland


The six people - five men and one woman - who participated in the attack on a Swiss public radio journalist RTS last week were arrested on 2 July and placed in pre-trial detention, the Geneva public prosecutor said. in a statement.

Six members of the security service of Cameroonian President Paul Biya were arrested in Switzerland following the assault of a journalist from Swiss public radio RTS last week in Geneva, the Geneva court announced.

The six people - five men and one woman - who participated in the attack were arrested on 2 July and placed in pre-trial detention, the Geneva public prosecutor said in a statement.

At the end of their hearing, the five men were put at the disposal of the prosecutor. The woman, carrying a diplomatic passport, was released.

RTS journalist Adrien Krause, who has since lodged a complaint, was assaulted on June 26 while covering a rally of opponents of Paul Biya's regime in front of the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva. Mr Biya, who comes regularly to Switzerland, has been there since 23 June.

"The judicial police have identified six persons, members of the security service of the Cameroonian president Paul Biya, who (...) molested" the journalist, "slightly wounding him and seizing his belongings and his professional equipment" added the Geneva public prosecutor.

According to the judicial authorities, the agents of the security service "attacked and immobilized him, while others seized his phone, his purse and his bag in particular". The journalist was slightly injured and objects damaged.

The prosecutor general, in charge of the proceedings, heard and confronted the parties on Wednesday.

Following the journalist's assault, the Swiss Foreign Ministry summoned the Cameroonian ambassador to Berne to explain to him "that such incidents were unacceptable and that the freedom of the press is protected and should be respected".

Several incidents occurred last week in Geneva in the vicinity of the Intercontinental Hotel. On June 25, some 40 Cameroonian opponents forced the entrance of the hotel, while the 26 or so opponents had gathered on public roads, still in front of the hotel. It was during this event that the journalist was attacked.

Another opposition demonstration involving some 250 people was also held on Saturday at a square near the European headquarters of the United Nations and close to the Intercontinental Hotel. This demonstration was dispersed unceremoniously by the Swiss police.


CIN