Cameroon: Sick Anglophone detainee remains chained to hospital bed

Thomas Tangem is handcuffed to a bed at the Yaounde Central hospital, in Cameroon’s capital city.

Evacuated from prison on July 25th, his lawyers say he was sick of meningitis and was not well catered for.

Their latest preoccupation is his hospital condition described by the legal team “as torture”.

“He is chained to his bed at the Central Hospital Yaounde at the instruction of the superintendent of the Central Prison Kondengui, Mr. Hamadou Modi despite the gravity of his illness,” his lawyer tells Mimi Mefo Info.

Worried family members fear for his life, MMI also learned. “Family of our client is exhausting their best energy to foot all his medical bills but regret they are visibly mourning him alive due the inhumane treatment visited on their brother by the Prison and Justice Administrations” his lawyers said in a July 30 release.

The lawyers say the attitude of the Prison Administrator is a “gross violation of section 123 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Cameroon, The United Nations Declaration on the right to health, the international convention against torture, the Mandela Rules and much more duly ratified by the State of Cameroon”.

They called on the Prison and Justice Administrations to respect the above legal instruments “by unfettering our client of their chains to enable him obtain proper medical treatment.”

Thomas Tangem’s ordeal is similar to what Barrister Shufai Blaise, another Anglophone detainee went through in May this year.

“Despite the fact that the superintendent of Prison Principal Kondengui Mr. Isidore ANGOULE was fired from his post yesterday July, 29 2020, the defense team is determined to prosecute the matter to its logical end so that justice is done,” the lawyers have promised.

Thousands have been arrested in the restive Anglophone regions of Cameroon since the armed conflict escalated in 2016. Many are being held incommunicado, with hundred others awaiting trial.

Human Rights Watch has urged Cameroonian authorities to decongest detention facilities to save lives and avoid the spread of Covid-19. A pledge by the country’s justice ministry months ago to hasten legal proceedings, is yet to be materialised.

(C) Mimi Mefo Info

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