International Rights group, Amnesty International, AI, have described the insurrection charge slapped on Cameroon opposition chief as horrifying, accusing Yaounde of being less tolerant of criticism.
In a statement issued today (February 21), AI stressed that it was a clear violation of basic human rights to continue putting civilians before military courts.
Kamto appeared before the Yaounde court today, his second appearance since he was arrested in late January 2019. Reports indicate that the case has been adjourned till February 26.
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.
“It is horrifying that the Cameroonian authorities are considering sentencing Maurice Kamto to death simply for daring to participate in a peaceful protest.
“He is one of many people who have been caught up in a wave of mass arrests as authorities attempt to silence their critics,” said Marie-Evelyne Petrus Barry, Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa regional director.
“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.
“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,” she stressed.
International and regional human rights bodies including the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights consider that military courts should not, in any circumstances whatsoever, have jurisdiction over civilians. This is also recognized in the Principles of fair trial in Africa.
Photo credit: Francis Taka – Kamto official Facebook page