Cameroon opposition leader faces death sentence

Maurice Kamto

Maurice Kamto

from ROSY SADOU in Yaoundé, Cameroon
YAOUNDE, (CAJ News) – CAMEROON’S main opposition leader and more than 100 supporters face the death penalty following their arraignment for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government.

Maurice Kamto, leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, and the 130 followers, were arbitrarily arrested last month and charged by a military court.

The arrest is part of a crackdown on critics of the October 2018 elections that the opposition believes President Paul Biya rigged.

A judge is to rule on the charges they face, including “rebellion,
hostility against the homeland, incitement to insurrection, offence
against the president of the republic and destruction of public buildings and goods.”

Human rights organisations said it was horrifying that the government considered sentencing Kamto and others to death for participating in a peaceful protest.

“As well as having their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful
assembly crushed, many of Cameroon’s opposition members are now facing unfair trials by military courts,” said rights advocate, Marie-Evelyne Petrus Barry.

“We are calling on authorities to end this ruthless assault on dissenting voices. Civilians should not be tried by military courts and should not face the death penalty for exercising their human rights.”

Some 12 opposition members also arrested in January appeared before an ordinary court earlier this week.

Prosecutors charged them with attempting to participate in a banned demonstration. The hearing was postponed until Monday.

Biya (86), Africa’s oldest sitting president, has been power since 1982.  Critics accuse him of rigging polls to sustain his reign.

– CAJ News

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Posted by on Feb 25 2019. Filed under Africa & World, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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