There has been outrage on social media after the release of a video of Anglophones placed under pretrial detention for five years and counting.
They are expected to appear in court today, but one of the inmates told Mimi Mefo Info that hopes that the case can ever progress had been dashed.
“All I know is nothing much will filter from the hearing, we are just going to court for formality, it will be adjourned like others before now, and we will return to jail,” one of the inmates said.
A source close to the victims has traced their ordeal, noting that they were arrested in Wum in the North West region of Cameroon before the start of the Anglophone crisis.
“… In 2015, a soldier shot and killed a commercial motorbike rider over a love triangle. In retaliation, the fellow bike riders descended to the military base and burnt down the base. Those who committed the crime left the village and sunrise met them in Bamenda,” he said.
The boys’ dilemma would begin weeks after the incident during a raid by soldiers in the village. “… They were picking up young men rampantly and sending them to Yaounde for this crime.”
In the video making rounds on social media, one of the victims says he was arrested because he had no money to give the soldiers to buy beer as requested.
In addition to being locked up, the boys have had to deal with issues of poor feeding and horrible health conditions. “… These guys are in bad shape, malnutrition and ill health. I just spent FCFA 300.000 ($542) on Achuo Emmanuel for hernia surgery…,” the source adds.
During and after surgery, he remained chained to his hospital bed. The victims from Wum are not the first to find themselves in such a situation.
With the coming of the Anglophone crisis, several other young men from the North West and South West regions have been victims of mass arrests and have often been compelled to stay behind bars for months without any trial or judicial processes.
Our source says “They go to court almost every month, but the judge keeps adjourning the case, so they have never had a hearing.”
Mimi Mefo Info