24/02/2011 15:07:53
CCDHR Condemns Government Barbarism against Peaceful Demonstrators
CCDHR Condemns Government Barbarism against Peaceful Demonstrators in Cameroon: Calls for International Investigation
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The Cameroon Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CCDHR) strongly condemns the brutalization and torture to near dead of peaceful demonstrators in Cameroon by the security forces of Paul Biya, the long time President of Cameroon. Demonstrations that were jointly organized by some political leaders and civil society groups were ruthlessly suppressed on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 by a mixed force of police, gendarme, and military personnel dressed in riot gear and armed with batons, tear gas, life ammunitions, chemical infected water cannons, and tanker trucks of hot water. Among the casualties where Edith Kah Walla (Presidential Candidate), Mboua Massok (Political Leader), Celestin Djamen (Political Leader), and Jean Michel Nitcheu (Opposition Member of Partliament). Eye witness and video evidence (See Below) show how a mob of the security forces beat a defenseless Cameroonian to near death, and then undress his motionless body as they spray chemical infected and hot water on demonstrators.

CCDHR watched with shock and consternation, the barbaric and inhuman manner in which peaceful demonstrators in Cameroon were ruthlessly crushed by the country’s uniformed service officers. Peaceful assembly and protest are rights assumed by all as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international conventions and treaties that Cameroon has ratified. The 1990 liberty laws in Cameroon also give people the right to peaceful assembly but today, Cameroonians and the international community witnessed the horrific most unimaginable and degrading treatment the Government of Cameroon meted out to peaceful protesters as they went out to express a legitimate cause and concern. CCDHR denounces such treatment of fellow Cameroonians by their government and implores the international community to investigate the Government of Cameroon for its violation of international conventions which it has an obligation to respect and uphold.

Inspired by successful peaceful demonstration in Tunisia and Egypt, Cameroonians decided to go to the street to demand freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and rule of law, free and fair elections, and for the resignation of the President who has been in power for 29 years. The organizers of the demonstrations in Cameroon emphasized the peaceful nature of the protest and even trained team leaders on how to avoid confrontations with the forces of law and order, even if provoked.

While demonstrators adhered to the non-violent nature of the protest, the mixed brigade of police, gendarme, and military forces ruthlessly attacked demonstrators in the city of Douala as they gathered to begin the demonstration - torturing them with batons, kicking others to unconsciousness with military boots, and spraying them with hot and poisonous water. CCDHR notes that it is unacceptable for a country which is a state party to various international conventions on human rights to repeatedly violate the provisions of these treaties and stay clear of the scrutiny of the international community. CCDHR is calling on the international community to stand up for the helpless and defenseless People of Cameroon, who have no opportunity to even peacefully express their rights because of a repressive government.

President Paul Biya has been in power since 1982 and seems to be firm in his conviction to be President for life. Despite his professed commitment to human rights, freedoms, and liberties, Paul Biya and his governments have repeatedly violated the rights of the people of Cameroon. CCDHR recognizes that as a means to increase power and influence, the regime of President Biya has unlawfully sponsored the abuse of human rights in Cameroon. Human rights activists, independent journalists, and members of opposition political parties are regularly harassed, detained, and tortured. Elections in Cameroon have also been rife with fraud and severe misconduct to the advantage of Paul Biya and his ruling CPDM party. The judicial branch of the government is flawed and endemic with injustice and inequity as it is under the tight control of the executive. The security situation in Cameroon is just as deplorable. Instances of violence, torture, and arbitrary detention at the hands of the security forces abound, and the purposeful absence of accountability in the security forces continues to threaten adherence to democratic and human rights principles.

The demonstrations on February 23, 2011 in Cameroon were peaceful but the forces of law and order; people sworn to uphold the law and protect Cameroonians were instead the main agents of barbarism on their fellow brothers and sisters on the instruction of the Government. CCDHR condemns the use of excessive force by security officers in a bid to stop the peaceful protest. Indiscriminate torture, arrest and detention, and the specific brutalization of political leaders and a Presidential Candidate, and the beating to unconsciousness of a harmless Cameroonian is indicative of the excesses, barbarism, and a defining element of the structure and mission of the Cameroonian security forces, who have been groomed for decades as experts in corruption and killers of political opponents, rather than protectors of the People of Cameroon and the law.

CCDHR holds that people have the right to freedom of expression and assembly. The right to assembly, which encompasses peaceful demonstrations, is guaranteed in the constitution of Cameroon and under various international conventions ratified by Cameroon. CCDHR is calling on the Government of Cameroon to respect the constitution of the country and uphold its obligation under international laws it has duly ratified. It is unacceptable for the Government of Cameroon to continue to crush peaceful demonstrations with such barbarism. It is objectionable that ordinary Cameroonians who peacefully protest the tyranny of their government would meet such brutality. Demonstrations against the regime of Paul Biya in Cameroon have always been met with government sponsored terror and massacres. All the while, the International community has kept a blind eye to the slaying of Cameroonians under the direct command and watchful and eyes of Paul Biya and members of his government. CCDHR is calling on the international community to stand up to the barbarism and massacre being carried out against the people of Cameroon. The Government of Cameroon must be investigated and sanctioned for its barbarism on the People of régime Biya.

For more information : http://www.ccdhr.org

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