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Anglophone Crisis: Over 500 arrested since October 1, Amnesty International
Category :- Politics Author :- Amos Fofung 
Posted on October 15, 2017, 12:00 am

The latest report from the international human rights watchdog, Amnesty International holds that little over five hundred people have been arrested since October one in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon.

The report that was published last Friday, October 13, states that those detained were arrested following the October 1 protest in which more than 20 people were reportedly killed when police clash with angry protesters.

According to the report, in the North West Regional capital of Bamenda, at least two hundred people were arrested and the majority transferred to the prison in Bafoussam, West Region. Meanwhile, in Buea, administrative capital of the South West region, at least 300 people have been arrested since the 1st October protests, including a series of mass arbitrary arrests between October 6 in Muea and October 8 in Mile 16.

The report indicts the country’s security forces of using unnecessary or excessive force when conducting arrests, and have destroyed property and looted belongings. The report states that some have already been brought before the courts while others were released following the payment of bribes, with families in Buea reporting to have paid members of the police approximately 60 USD for each family member detained.

Ilaria Allegrozzi, Amnesty International’s Lake Chad researcher has said the mass arrest of protestors, most of whom were acting peacefully, is not only a violation of human rights but is also likely to be counter-productive.  “The Cameroonian authorities should release anyone detained only for exercising their right to peaceful protest.” He said.

It should be recalled that Last Saturday, October 7, at about 8 AM, security forces comprising the armed to the teeth Police and combat-ready Gendarmerie troops took Muea by storm arresting youths in their hundreds and carting them to undisclosed locations.

While the population was yet to get over Saturday's incident as families made their way to detention centers in search of their love once, the police yesterday Sunday raided the Mile 16 neighborhood.

A denizen of Mile 16, who pleaded not to be named told this reporter that the “the police first started arresting people in the morning and some of them ran to the church to hide but the police went right into the church and arrested more than half of those who were worshipping there. They even break people’s houses and arrested them, my neighbor’s husband was arrested and the wife says she has gone to all the police stations in Buea but can’t find him”

 

According to her, the once busy and funky Mile 16, reputed for its extravagant lifestyle is a ghost of its former self as more than half of the population have fled the neighborhood due to frequent and continual raids and arrest.

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