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Rights watchdog calls on Cameroon to probe protest deaths

Rights watchdog calls on Cameroon to probe protest deaths

Cameroon

Authorities in Cameroon must investigate the use of excessive and unnecessary force that led to the deaths of between two and four people during a protest in the north western city of Bamenda, Amnesty International has said.

The rights watchdog said in a statement that excessive and unnecessary force was used in quelling the protests.

“Authorities in Cameroon must shed light on the circumstances of these killings and injuries by immediately conducting thorough, impartial and effective investigations. Those reasonably suspected of criminal responsibility for these deaths must be brought to justice,” said Ilaria Allegrozzi, Amnesty International’s Central Africa Researcher.

“We call on the Cameroonian authorities to refrain from the use of unlawful force in its response to the protests. Responding to incidents of violence during protests with unnecessary or excessive force threatens to further enflame an already tense situation and could put more lives at risk,” Amnesty International added in a statement.

The December 8 protests are part of a continuation of demonstrations that began in late October 2016 in several cities in English-speaking south-west and north-west Cameroon against the use of French in courts and schools.

Lawyers, students and teachers have been on strike for weeks, in opposition to what they view as the marginalization of the Anglophone minority.

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