The International Service for Human Rights,ISHR, has called on the government of Cameroon to respect its international engagements by releasing human rights defenders, Felix Agbor Balla, Dr Fontem Aforteka’a Neba and journalist Mancho Bibixy.
The rights group in a statement on July 28, wondered why Cameroon has given a blind eye to several calls and petitions for the release of the Anglophone activists.
“…Despite numerous calls from several international human rights NGOs such as Amnesty International, Frontline Defenders and the International Commission of Jurists; despite calls from the African Union and several UN experts; despite the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales closely following the case and publicly exposing its multiple shortcomings; and despite the Cameroonian authorities gently nodding at comments made by the international community, the government remains completely deaf to the voice of reason”.
The group also asked why Cameroon is still a party to the International Covenant on civil and political rights (ICCPR) as well as to the Convention against torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and to the International Covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, when the country keeps violating, inter alia, article 9 of the ICCPR that clearly states that ‘no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention.
In the end, the group called for the government to respects its own human rights commitment and drop all the charges against Felix Agbor Balla, Dr Fontem Aforteka’a Neba, Mancho Bibixy and all those arbitrarily detained for peacefully protesting as the UN Declaration for human rights defenders allows them to. “We call for their immediate release because as many know, every day counts in Kondengui prison”.
“We also call on the UN to hold the Cameroonian authorities accountable for all the alleged human rights violations that occurred during their arrest and detention and to take a strong stand in favour of Cameroon’s human rights defenders and their families”.