By Ndinwa Ernest
Reports say some 40 commercial bike riders who were arrested in Oku– and taken to the Bamenda Central Prison are undergoing torture, with the possibility that some might have died in detention.
“Signs of torture were very visible on them, some could be heard saying we are only bike riders wanting to bury our loved ones,” a source who opted for anonymity told MMI.
Soldiers arrested 40 bikers-tagged-terrorists on April 26th in Oku, and took them to the detention facility in Bamenda, where they are being held to date.
The commercial bike riders were heading to their colleague’s funeral when they were seized by the military and bundled out of Bui Division.
“Twenty-five out of the forty initially arrested by soldiers are in very bad conditions,” said our source who expressed dismay at their ill-treatment, hinting that 15 others may have been killed., given that they have not been seen in public in a while
Family members also worry for their safety and well-being.
“If they are dead, let them give us the bodies so we can bury them, we need to know what happened to them,” said a relative.
This would not be the first time that soldiers ‘arrested’ innocent civilians and they ended up either serving long jail sentences or dead. There is still the pending case of Samuel Wazizi, the journalist who was arrested on August 2, 2019, and only confirmed death almost a year later. To date, the corpse of Samuel Wazizi has not been handed to the family for burial, despite the military confirming that he died in their custody.
“Such blatant acts of disregard for human rights and the rule of law is what has led to a worsening of the current crisis” explained a Human Rights Advocate who has been working to secure the release of the bike riders.
Elites in the North West Region have come under fire for maintaining sealed lips on the matter drawing criticisms from many who say they do not care about the lives of citizens.
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