By David Atangana
The case of detained Muslim scholar and activist, Abdul Karim Ali, has been adjourned to a date yet to be announced, defense lawyers have said.
A preliminary hearing of the case failed to happen on March 20 because the Examining Magistrate at the Yaounde Military Court in charge of the case was not on seat.
“The Defense Team makes public to the local and international press, the international community and the public in general, that Muslim scholar and international peace crusader, Abdul Karim Ali, and two others were not produced before the Examining Magistrate of the Military Tribunal Yaoundé this Monday, March 20th, 2023, as programmed same by the judicial authorities of the said Tribunal,” a statement from the defense lawyers read in part.
“Meantime, lawyers comprised of Pekum Emmanuel and Amungwa Tanyi Esq were at the Tribunal today to assist in their defense but were informed that the Examining Magistrate was absent due to an unforseen assignment,” the statement read, adding that “the matter is adjourned for next week, the day and date to be announced subsequently to counsel”.
This was supposed to be the first time Abdul Karim would be appearing before the court to officially answer for the charges levied against him since his arrest in August 2022.
The peace crusader is being charged for hostilities against the fatherland, secession, failure to report and rebellion.
Abdul Karim Ali and two others were arrested last year by gendarmes in Bamenda, where they were detained for several months before being ferried to the Secretariat of State for National Defense (SED) Yaounde.
Lawyers and human rights organisations termed their arrests illegal and arbitrary and that they were being detained under “very scary” conditions in a crammed cell.
Upon their transfer to SED, they were ‘caged’ in the bunker of Service Central des Recherches Judiciares (SRJC) under “dehumanizing conditions” for over four months before their transfer to Kondengui on February 2, 2023.
Human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have repeatedly described Abdul Karim’s detention as illegal and have demanded his release.
Mimi Mefo Info