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Cameroon: Amnesty Intl calls for release of inmates vulnerable to Coronavirus

Entrance to the Yaounde Central prison (c) copyright

Amnesty International has called on powers that be in Cameroon to release detainees who are “particularly vulnerable” to the Coronavirus killer pandemic, including the elderly and or those with underlying medical conditions so as to further decongest prisons and limit the rate of possible contaminations.

Rumours on the presence of Coronavirus cases at the Yaounde Kondengui maximum security prison have been going round for over a month today.

Reports have it that some inmates disclosed prisoners often die in the prison though the cause of their death is not clear, as such, sick inmates now fear going to prison health services for fear of being contaminated.

In the wake of this situation, Amnesty International has called on Cameroonian authorities to release detainees vulnerable to the virus such as the old and the sick ones.

“Measures to fight the spread of the virus in detention facilities should include the release of detainees who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 such as the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions.”

“Keeping elderly or sick people in detention or releasing them just to blow their last breath outside is inhumane.  Authorities must treat prisoners with the respect due to their inherent dignity and value as human beings.” Fabien Offner, Amnesty International West and Central Africa researcher said.

In a release, the Organization cites 70year old Amadou Vamoulke, former Director General of State media CRTV, who suffers from a severe pathology certified by two neurologists.

He was arrested in July 2016 and has been “illegally” detained after his pre-trial detention exceeded the legal limit, the release partly reads.




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