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Cameroon - Committee Against Torture - Anglophone Crisis (LOI) - June 2020

Cameroon’s Compliance with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Suggested List of Issues Prior to Reporting Relating to the Social crisis in the North-Western and South-Western regions (Anglophone Crisis) in Cameroon

70th Session of the Committee against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 9 November 2020 – 4 December 2020

The Advocates for Human Rights submitted a Suggested List of Issues on the Social crisis in North-Western and South Western regions (Anglophone Crisis) in Cameroon for the 70th Session of the Committee Against Torture.

The government of Cameroon routinely detains people based on perceived support for the Anglophone separatist movement. In detention, Cameroonian authorities subject Anglophones and people suspected of supporting them to torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, in direct violation of Articles 2 and 16 of the Convention. Multiple sources report that security and defense forces have beaten and even killed scores of people, have arrested people without a warrant, and have sought charges against them in military courts for terrorism, all based on their actual or imputed support for the Anglophone movement. Firsthand stories from The Advocates’ clients seeking asylum in the United States confirm reports of torture, inhuman conditions of detention, and arbitrary detention.

The State fails to appropriately censure the marginalization, persecution, discrimination, and violence directed toward these people and to provide a remedy to victims, as required by Articles 12, 13, and 14 of the Convention. The continued criminalization of the Anglophone separatist movement has created a hostile and unsafe environment for Cameroon’s English-speaking minority.

The authors of report suggest the following recommendation for the government of Cameroon:

  • What measures has the State Party undertaken to ensure that all allegations of excessive use of force, extrajudicial execution, and arbitrary arrest are investigated by an independent and impartial authority, particularly in Anglophone areas?
  • How has the State Party ensured that people in Anglophone areas are able to exercise their right to peaceful assembly and protest?
  • What concrete steps is the State Party taking to protect Anglophones from excessive use of force, torture, and sexual assault?
  • What measures has the State Party taken to prevent and condemn excessive use of force and torture toward actual and perceived separatists?
  • What measures has the State taken to ensure that all Anglophone detainees have timely access to counsel and are timely brought before a judicial tribunal?