RHEDAC terms Ernest Obama’s arrest “abusive”

Central Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (RHEDAC) has condemned the manner of arrest of the former director and journalist of Vision 4 television. In a two page document signed June 25th 2020, RHEDAC says:

“The humiliating and degrading images that have made rounds on the social media and the comments of Vision 4 journalists and other consultants are unacceptable in a state governed by the rule of law.”

RHEDAC indicates that the arrest of Ernest Dieudonne Obama Nana is “arbitrary and illegal” – and therefore making him a “victim of inhuman and degrading treatment marked by torture and humiliation”.

While condemning the arrest of the journalist without any warrant at the headquarters of the media house, RHEDAC has called for the unconditional release of journalist Ernest Obama.

The human rights group has called on the Cameroon government to ensure that magistrates and other security forces scrupulously respect the Cameroon criminal procedure code, citing the African Charter for human and Peoples’ rights in its articles 5 and 7.

RHEDAC has also reminded the government of Cameroon that the convention against torture and other cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment adopted on the 10th of December 1984.

In a telephone interview with Bar Alice Nkom, board chair of RHEDAC, she says:

“We are asking for the immediate release of Ernest Obama because of the abusive manner he was arrested on the 18th of June 2020 and not the content or reason why he was taken. The arbitrary arrest already points that the trial will not be fair for the journalist and therefore government needs to restart the process by releasing Ernest Obama and formally issue him a warrant of arrest”.

The condemnation of the arrest of Ernest Obama by RHEDAC is the first formal move by a group following the arrest. The national communication council (Media regulatory body in Cameroon), associations of journalists and trade unions in the country have opted to remain silent. To some journalists, Ernest Obama as a practicing journalist specialized in inciting violence, hatred and tribalism in Cameroon and therefore he should equally feel the pinch of what many have suffered in the hands of the regime in place.

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