Cameroon ― African Commission ― Death Penalty and Detention Conditions ― Aug. 2013
The Advocates for Human Rights in collaboration with Droits et Paix submitted a report on the death penalty and detention conditions in Cameroon to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights for its 54th Ordinary Session in October 2013. The report shows that despite a de facto moratorium on the death penalty, Cameroon continues to sentence people to death and retains the possibility of carrying out these sentences. The report also describes serious human rights violations in the country’s detention facilities.
The government of Cameroon has not officially executed anyone since 1997, but unofficial reports indicate that there are at least 77 people on death row, with one person sentenced as recently as May of 2012. Additionally, defendants who go to trial, including those who are charged with death-eligible crimes and others, often lack adequately trained legal representation.
Human rights violations in Cameroon’s detention facilities include torture, other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, prolonged pretrial detention, and inadequate medical treatment, nutrition, and shelter. Due to severe overcrowding, men, women, and children are commonly co-mingled at facilities in violation of international human rights standards.
This report offers several recommendations to the government of Cameroon, including:
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