Document - Cameroon: Further information on fear of "disappearance" / Extrajudicial execution: Mr Tchambou

PUBLICAI Index: AFR 17/03/00

28 January 2000

Further information on EXTRA 168/99 (AFR 17/12/99, 26 November 1999) and follow-ups (AFR 17/13/99, 3 December 1999, AFR 17/01/00, 5 January 2000) - Fear of “disappearance”/Extrajudicial execution

CAMEROONMaurice Tchambou

Maurice Tchambou has now been held without charge or trial by the security forces for more than two months, and is being denied all visits. Amnesty International is seriously concerned for his safety.

Maurice Tchambou was arrested by the paramilitary police, the gendarmerie, on 21 November 1999, in Maroua, Far-North Province. He was then transferred to the custody of the brigade anti-gang, a combined military-gendarmerie unit deployed to combat armed robbery in northern Cameroon. The brigade anti-gang has carried out up to 700 extrajudicial executions of suspected armed robbers since it was first deployed in March 1998 (see Cameroon: Extrajudicial executions in North and Far-North Provinces, AI Index: AFR 17/16/98, December 1998).

Maurice Tchambou is a member of the non-governmental human rights organization Mouvement pour la défense des droits de l’homme et des libertés (MDDHL), Movement for the Defence of Human Rights and Liberties, which has actively investigated and campaigned against these killings. MDDHL members have been repeatedly intimidated and threatened because of their work.

Under Cameroon law, Maurice Tchambou should have been referred to a judicial authority to be either charged or released within 72 hours of his arrest. He has not been charged with any offence and there is no legal basis for his continuing detention. It appears that he may have been arrested solely because of his association with the MDDHL.

FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/ airmail letters in French, English or your own language:

- repeating concern about reports that Maurice Tchambou, a member of the Mouvement pour la défense des droits de l’homme et des libertés (MDDHL), Movement for the Defence of Human Rights and Liberties, is being held incommunicado by the brigade anti-gang in Maroua, Far-North Province;

- urging that his safety be guaranteed while in detention and that he be immediately allowed visits from his family, a lawyer and a doctor;

- urging that he be immediately and unconditionally released if, as it appears, he has been arrested solely because of his association with the MDDHL and his activities in defence of human rights.


Minister of State for Defence

M. Amadou Ali

Ministre d'Etat délégué à la Présidence chargé de la Défense

Palais de la Présidence

1000 Yaoundé

République du Cameroun

Telegrams:Ministre d’Etat Défense, Présidence, Yaoundé, Cameroon

Faxes:+ 237 20 33 06

Salutation:Monsieur le Ministre d'Etat / Dear Minister of State

Head of National Security

M. Luc René Bell

Délégué général à la Sûreté nationale

Sûreté nationale

1000 Yaoundé

République du Cameroon

Telegrams:M. Bell, Sûreté nationale, Yaoundé, Cameroon

Faxes:c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs + 237 20 11 33 (you may get a recorded message. If this happens, please try later)

Salutation:Monsieur le Délégué général / Dear Mr Bell

Minister of Justice

M. Laurent Esso

Ministre de la Justice, Garde des Sceaux

Ministère de la Justice

1000 Yaoundé

République du Cameroon

Telegrams:Ministre Justice, Yaoundé, Cameroon

Faxes:+ 237 22 01 97

Salutation:Monsieur le Ministre / Dear Minister



Le Messager

Faxes:+ 237 42 02 14

Cameroon Tribune

Faxes:+ 237 30 43 62

and to diplomatic representatives of Cameroon accredited to your country.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 25 February 2000.

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