CHRI's Oral Statement at the UPR Outcome of Cameroon at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
39th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Date: 20 September 2018
Item 6: UPR Outcome of Cameroon
Joint Oral Statement delivered by Mr. Joseph Désiré ZEBAZE1 on behalf of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)
Thank you, Mr. President.
Cameroon has received important recommendations on the escalating human rights crisis in the English-speaking regions as part of this UPR, including on excessive use of force against protestors, forced disappearances, torture in prisons, and the need to grant international agencies access to separatist leaders detained since January 2017.
We regret that Cameroon failed to accept to release prisoners detained for peacefully protesting. However, we urge the government to implement accepted recommendations immediately.
This UPR process is timely, given the deteriorating situation in the country, including an ongoing violent crackdown in the Anglophone regions by state security forces, which began with repression against peaceful protestors resulting in numerous arbitrary arrests and at least 20 being killed. Separatists have also killed over 107 members of the security forces.
Since then, increasing clashes have reportedly resulted in more than 411,000 internally displaced persons, 128 villages being destroyed by fire, more than 1,000 persons being arbitrarily arrested and detained, and over 400 further extrajudicial killings.
The government must also halt the use of forced disappearance, torture and the burning of villages by the military.
We urge all sides to halt violence and engage in a sustained dialogue on the crisis in the North-west and South-west.
1 From Cameroon Network of Human Rights Organizations (RECODH)