The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has again highlighted the injustice surrounding the arrest and detention of Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and some of his collaborators.
Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and other separatist leaders who are now serving life jail terms in the Yaounde Kondengui prison were arrested in questionable circumstances in Nigeria in January 2018 and extradited to Cameroon.
The Working Group has the mandate to investigate cases of deprivation of liberty imposed arbitrarily or otherwise inconsistently with the relevant international standards set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or in the relevant international legal instruments accepted by the States concerned.
Following its 94th session held from August 29 to September 2, 2022, the Working Group in its opinions cited the separatist leaders’ arrest and extradition to Cameroon as a case that violates some of the statutes of international law.
After reaching out to both Nigeria and Cameroon on the issue, “neither of the governments replied to the communication,” the Working Group stated.
This, it added, is despite the fact that “both states are parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”.
Among others, it cited instances of arbitrary deprivation of liberty, and the non observance of international norms.
In its submissions, the Working Group also profiled the detained separatist leaders, noting that they each carry an asylum seeker certificate or a refugee card.
The working group, it should be recalled, was established by resolution 1991/42 of the United Nations’ Commission on Human Rights, which extended and clarified the mandate in resolution 1997/50.
The conflict in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions intensified since the arrest and detention of the separatist leaders and has been showing little signs of abatting.
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