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HRW slates rights violations

Publish date: 13 May 2019
Issue Number: 823
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Cameroon

Human Rights Watch has again slammed Cameroonian authorities for violations in dealing with the separatist uprising in the west of the country. The government has not commented on the latest report, which alleges that severe beating and 'near-drownings' have been used 'to extract confessions from detainees suspected of ties to armed separatist groups'. It alleges that these detainees are being held incommunicado at the State Defence Secretariat in the capital, Yaoundé. It documented 26 cases of incommunicado detention and enforced disappearance between January 2018 and January 2019, including 14 cases of torture. It said the total numbers were likely much higher, because abuses were committed in secret and many former detainees were reluctant to speak because they feared reprisals. 'Over the past year the security forces in Cameroon have used torture without fear of repercussion,' says Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at HRW. The organisation also appealed to the UN Security Council to act amid the ongoing conflict in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions.

HRW statement