Document - Cameroon: Further information on Fear for safety / detention without charge
PUBLICAI Index: AFR 17/007/2001
11 May 2001
Further information on UA 111/01 (AFR 17/006/2001, 3 May 2001) - Fear for Safety / detention without charge
Peter William Mandio, journalist
All five men named above were released on bail on 8 May. Apparently they were not tortured in custody. They are due to go on trial on 11 July, charged with participation in an illegal demonstration.
They had been arrested on 26 April and held in harsh conditions at a police station in Douala. Sindjou Pokam, Djeukam Tchameni, Djimo Léandre and Peter William Mandio are active in the Collectif National contre L’Impunité (CNI), National Coalition against Impunity, which campaigns for perpetrators of human rights violations to be brought to justice.
Together with Olivier Sande they are believed to have been arrested because of their protests against impunity in the context of the “disappearance” of nine youths, who were widely believed to have been killed by a special police unit, the Commandement Opérationnel de la Gendarmerie (CO), in Douala in February.
Since then the head of the CO has been transferred to another post, and on 9 May six CO officers were charged in connection with the “disappearance” of the nine youths. However, Amnesty International is continuing to press the Cameroonian authorities to allow a thorough, independent investigation of all human rights violations allegedly committed by the CO.
In a circular letter to all police stations made public on 9 May, the Délégué général à la sûreté nationale, a government minister who is responsible for the Cameroon police force, made it clear that torture contravenes national and international laws and is prohibited.
No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all those who sent appeal. Amnesty International will continue to monitor the case.