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Detained CRM Vice President

By Kesah Princely and Paul Njie
25/07/2019

A college of lawyers defending arrested leaders and militants of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM) Party, has lambasted the detention conditions of its clients.

In a joint communique signed by five members of the defence team Wednesday July 24, the legal practitioners decried what they termed a violation of the fundamental human rights of their clients by judicial police officers.

The lawyers revealed that detained CRM supporters have been subjected to severe torture such as: the use of machetes and wooden planks by security officers on the detainees, constant beatings on their backs and buttocks, as well as suspending prisoners on what they termed “the balançoire.”

The defence team also castigated the inhumane treatment of Professor Maurice Kamto, leader of the CRM, whom the party claims won the October 2018 presidential elections. The prison authorities have been accused of forcing Mr. Kamto to urinate on himself, just as other prisoners.

Meanwhile, following Monday’s mutiny at the Yaounde Central Prison (Kondengui), many militants of the CRM were declared missing by the party, among whom was its First National Vice President Mamadou Yakouba Mota who was taken to an undisclosed location by Cameroon’s security officers.

According to the communique, the lawyers learned that some of the missing party faithful were at SED, a dreaded detention facility in Yaounde.

However, the lawyers said they were barred by judicial police from seeing their clients; a move the leg minds find degrading, calling it a means to prohibit them from effectively doing their job.

 

The chagrined defence team is pressing for a number of demands, including allowing family members, lawyers and doctors of CRM officials and supporters to have unfettered access to the detainees; an exact number and the locations of all arrested party militants, and punishment to security officers who have subjected the prisoners to horrendous and inhumane conditions.

Over 200 CRM loyalists were arrested separately in January and June 2019, over protests against President Paul Biya’s regime, the poor electoral system, embezzlement of AFCON 2019 funds, and government’s mishandling of the Anglophone crisis.

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