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By Godfrey Olukya   25-1-2013

Cameroon has been accused of violating human rights of it’s citizens especially the homosexuals.

A report which has just been released by Amnesty international said that people in Cameroon are being subjected to a raft of abuses including unlawful killings and torture.

It also condemned the authorities in Cameroon for seeking  to use the criminal justice system to clamp down on political opponents, human rights defenders and journalists. It also accused it of witch-hunting lesbians,gays, transgender and intersex (LGBTI). 

Amnesty International researcher in Central Africa, Godfrey Byaruhanga said, ‘It is time to put an end to such blatant violations of human rights. The government needs to make it clear to security forces that human rights violations will not be tolerated  and that the perpetrators will be brought to justice and reparations paid to victims.’

The report also documents several cases of  intimidation and imprisonment of those who oppose the country’s leader, President Paul Biya.

Among sited cases is the one of former health minister, Titus Edzoa  who reportedly quit the government to stand as a presidential candidate on 20 April 1997. He was  arrested on charges of corruption and he is currently serving a 20-year jail sentence .

Human rights defenders and members of their families are harassed and threatened for doing their work and the government fails to offer them protection.

Amnesty International is also concerned about poor condition of prisons in the country. It gave an example of Douala’s new Bell prison and Yaounde prison which are both meant to hold 2000 prisoners but are currently overcrowded with over 6500 prisoners.

The prisoners reportedly eat one meal a day. They also lack uniforms.Since 2000, the report said, there has been increase in the arrest of homosexuals which is a  criminal offence in Cameroon and authorities routinely arrest, detain and torture individuals because of their real or perceived sexual orientation.

Arrested LGBTI people’s lawyers  have reported that they get death threats against themselves and their children for seeking justice for their clients. 

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