International rights group, Human Rights Watch says the current lawyers strike should ring a bell with regards to the violations of detainees’ basic rights in Cameroon as well as lawyers’ inability to carry out their jobs without undue interference.
In its latest report published by Lewis Mudge, Central African Director of Human Rights Watch, the rights group says lawyers have a critical role to play in protecting the rights of suspects in custody and in court. This role in protecting Human rights it says is fundamental in the context of current crackdown in Cameroon.
To Lewis Mudge “lawyers decided to stage a five-day strike because of what they describe as systematic denial of access to their clients in detention facilities across Cameroon including the State Defense Secretariat, SED.”
The lawyers as quoted by Human Rights Watch say they are “continuously being threatened, arrested and detained” while trying to do their job.
“Human Rights watch has extensively documented the widespread use of incommunicado detention and torture at SED, as well other violations of due process rights. A military Court recently handed a life sentence to the leaders of a separatists group following a trial in which the defendants were not able to exercise their rights to effectively defend themselves” Lewis Mudge noted.
Highlighting the security atmosphere under which the strike is taking place in Cameroon, Human Rights Watch says it should serve as an alarm to Cameroonian authorities.
Mimi Mefo Info