Cameroon: Arrest of political opponents and detention without trial

Index Number: AFR 17/002/1995

In August 1994, 28 members of a Cameroonian opposition party, the UNDP, were arrested and charged with joint acts of looting and assault occasioning death, following clashes between two rival groups of the UNDP. At the beginning of February 1995 13 of those charged were released, apparently only provisionally. Most of those detained were arrested several hours or days after the events and, according to concurring sources, only because they had been denounced by political opponents in their own party. AI fears that they were detained because of their opposition to the participation of two UNDP leaders in the government. There appears to be no evidence that they were personally responsible for the acts of violence of which they are accused. AI is very concerned about the health of several of the UNDP members held in Maroua’s central prison, where dozens of prisoners died in 1994 from malnutrition and poor hygiene and medical care.

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