Weeks back, it was reported that some Cameroonians were being deported from the United Arab Emirates, UAE.
Till date, some say they have no idea of the reason for their arrests/ deportation. Talking to MMI, one victim says the experience was traumatic and till date, leaves scars.
Arrested at night alongside others on June 25, 2021, he says they were pulled out of bed by security forces for no reason and taken to a detention facility in Abu Dhabi.
“After being there for one month, they gave us toothbrushes. They gave us prison uniforms to wear and then changed them after 14 days. They then gave us soap to have our bath,” he explains.
Medical care was poor, as they were given no access to medical doctors, he added.
Regarding feeding, he said: “We ate rice for all our time there… The food was barely just to proof that we had eaten.”
“The trauma was too much… They said those who had documents would be taken back to town and those without documents deported,” he recounted.
Of over a thousand, none of them, he said, was taken before a judge or sentenced, but all remained detained. Also at the facility, he asserts, were Cameroonians and other Africans arrested from different parts of the UAE.
“We all were jailed for above a month and had no contact with family members… This has traumatized us so much. Till date, we still don’t understand what happened,” he lamented.
“We came back with slippers and pyjamas. Some did not even have their phones… I returned like a child that had just been born,” he went on.
Government inaction frustrating Cameroonians
The Cameroonian Consulate in Dubai has been largely silent over the deportation reports, as well as the arrest and detention of compatriots.
Asserting that some remain in custody till date, the victim says “they [the consulate] are saying they were not aware and they would see what to do about it.”
“Once they (UAE) get hold of your passport, they put an exit stamp and send you home because they don’t want the world to know they are deporting us,” he narrated further.
The choice of an exit stamp instead of a deported stamp, to him, is a move by the UAE to hide the current situation from the international community.
The Cameroon government, he says, has failed them by its silence and blind eye to the nerve -wrecking situation.
The Cameroonian government is yet to make any statement on the incident. This is not the first time Cameroonians and Africans have raised worries over conditions in the UAE.
Complaints of girls enslaved by owners of homes where they are assigned to work abound. In most cases, victims say their passports and other documents are confiscated and they are compelled to operate under the whims and caprices of their masters.