An 11-month-old baby boy is reported to have died two days after the mother was taken into custody. Local sources have confirmed that the baby was denied access to his mother, who was detained by police officers in Penja, located in the Littoral region of Cameroon.
The baby’s mother, whose name Mimi Mefo Info (MMI) got as Rosine while talking to the press, revealed that she was detained for being indebted to a family member. According to her, she was sued by her brother-in-law, to whom she owed some money.
“My brother-in-law came and gave me a convocation letter because I am owing him some money. We went to the police station and we signed the papers. By the time I could realise it, they took me into a cell and locked me there,” Rosine explained.
Once detained, all attempts to have the woman breastfeed her child were futile as the child was denied access to his mother.
“My child that I gave birth to through an operation was not breastfed since I entered the prison until he died,” added Rosine.
According to Georges, the father of the deceased baby, he was left in shock when those who brought the child to the prison returned, saying they were driven away, together with the baby.
He narrated, “When I came home, I asked the children what they were doing with the baby at home. They told me the baby was driven from the police station. I began wondering why they should drive the baby home when the breastfeeding mother is under their custody.”
Rosine further confirmed to the press that she notified the police officers that she is a nursing mother, “but each time they brought the child, they would ask them to return.”
The police officers of the aforementioned station, however, have refuted these claims.
The woman was released after the announcement of the child’s death but was rearrested a few days later and transferred to the Mbanga Central prison.
MMI could not, however, independently verify that the child died mainly because he could not be breastfed or because of something else.