Thursday 27 December 2012
Monday 24 December 2012
Friday 30 November 2012
Do you believe in human rights? Would you like to do something to defend, spread and support them? Are you looking for an original, useful and perhaps even intelligent gift for next Christmas? ADOPT AN NGO!!! Make a donation to Human IS Right (http://www.humanisright.org) an NGO dealing with human rights in Cameroon and you can give this adoption as a present to you or to whoever you want! Click on http://www.humanisright.org/helpus.html and then click on Donate with PayPal and point out "Adopt Human IS Right" as the reason for payment, your name and the name and email address of the gift recipient and we will send a certificate of adoption! In this way, besides contributing toHisR projects, you will make a unique gift to someone important ...!!! We believe in human rights!
Wednesday 28 November 2012
Wednesday 7 November 2012
CAMEROON Head of state Paul Biya Head of government Philémon Yang Death penalty abolitionist in practice Population 20 million Life expectancy 51.6 years Under-5 mortality 154.3 per 1,000 Adult literacy 70.7 per cent The government continued to restrict the activities of political opponents and journalists. People suspected of same-sex relations were detained and some sentenced to lengthy prison terms. The government reduced some prison sentences and commuted death sentences, but did not reveal how many. BACKGROUND President Biya was re-elected with 75 per cent of the vote following presidential elections on 9 October. Of the 22 opposition presidential candidates, his closest rival, John Fru Ndi of the Social Democratic Front, won just over 10 per cent. Opposition political parties claimed that the election was unfair. Election observers from the AU, International Organization of La Francophonie and the Commonwealth stated that the election was generally fair, while the US Ambassador to Cameroon said that US government observers noted widespread irregularities at every level. Before starting a new term in November, President Biya issued a decree commuting sentences imposed by the courts. According to the decree, people serving prison sentences of one year or less were to be released and those serving life imprisonment would have their sentences reduced to 20 years. Death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment. Prisoners convicted of economic crimes, aggravated robbery or murder were excluded from the presidential pardon. There were several attacks by armed groups on the Bakassi Peninsula, which reverted to Cameroon from Nigeria following a 2002 International Court of Justice decision. In one such attack in February, two Cameroonian soldiers were killed and at least 13 civilians abducted. CORRUPTION CHARGES Several dozen former government officials accused of corruption remained in custody, many awaiting trial or serving prison sentences. The trial of Titus Edzoa and Thierry Atangana on new corruption charges had not concluded by the end of the year, although they were close to completing their 15-year prison term imposed in 1997 following an unfair trial. IMPUNITY Members of the security forces who committed or ordered serious human rights violations, including unlawful killings, during demonstrations and riots in February 2008 continued to enjoy impunity. The judiciary failed to investigate the violations and bring the perpetrators to justice. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Several journalists and government critics were detained and some released during the year. • Bertrand Zepherin Teyou, a writer arrested in November 2010 while trying to launch his book about the wife of the President, was released on 29 April. He had been found guilty of “contempt of a personality” by the High Court in Douala and sentenced to a fine of 2,030,150 CFA francs (approximately US$4,425) or two years’ imprisonment. • Human rights defenders and lawyers continued to call for the release of former mayor Paul Eric Kingué, serving a prison sentence in connection with the February 2008 riots, on the grounds that he was victimized for criticizing abuses by government forces. He was also on trial for alleged corruption. • Pierre Roger Lambo Sandjo, a musician, completed his three-year prison term and was released in April without being required to pay the fine of 330 million CFA francs imposed in 2008. Human rights defenders believed that he was imprisoned because he composed a song criticizing the amendment of the Constitution that allowed the President to stand for re-election. • Agence France Presse correspondent Reinnier Kazé was arrested on 23 February by gendarmes while covering an opposition demonstration in Douala. Officers deleted recordings on his dictaphone before releasing him the following day. • In May, police prevented the public showing of a documentary on alleged human rights abuses linked to commercial banana production. The documentary reportedly claimed that small-scale banana growers were removed from their land without compensation and that plantation workers were poorly paid. • Gueimé Djimé, a member of OS-Civil Droits de l’Homme human rights group based in Kousséri, Extreme North province, was shot dead as he slept on the night of 10 June. Members of OS-Civil had reportedly received anonymous death threats relating to the group’s opposition to the appointment of two local chiefs. Although four men suspected of killing Gueimé Djimé were arrested, no one had been brought to justice by the end of the year. FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND ASSEMBLY Political and human rights groups were frequently denied the right to organize peaceful activities or demonstrations. • At least eight political activists, including former members of a students’ association, were arrested in February by members of the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance security service in Yaoundé; they had met to organize a demonstration to commemorate victims of human rights violations during demonstrations in February 2008. The detainees were denied access to lawyers and charged with endangering the security of the state. They were provisionally released but had not been brought to trial by the end of the year. • In April, police in Douala detained political activist Mboua Massock while he tried to organize a meeting to protest against the October presidential elections. He was taken 35km from Douala and abandoned. • In May, riot police in Yaoundé arrested 37 farmers and dispersed more than 100 others for trying to demonstrate against bad roads and inadequate government support for agriculture. Those arrested were released on 1 June without charge. The security forces continued to arrest members of the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC) and disrupt or prevent their meetings. The SCNC advocates secession of anglophone Cameroonian provinces from largely francophone Cameroon. • In February, members of the security forces arrested SCNC national chairman Chief Ayamba Ette Otun and several other people who were travelling with him to Bamenda, capital of North West province. Ayamba Ette Otun was reportedly returning from Buea in South West province where he had handed an SCNC memorandum to a visiting delegation from the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. All were released several days later without charge. • On 1 October, members of the security forces disrupted a meeting of the SCNC in Buea and arrested 50 people, claiming that the SCNC had not obtained prior permission to hold the meeting. They were released without charge several days later. RIGHTS OF LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER PEOPLE The government proposed to amend the Penal Code to allow sentences of up to 15 years’ imprisonment and large fines to be imposed on people found guilty of same-sex relations. Men convicted of same-sex relations continued to be sentenced to prison terms of up to five years. • Jean-Claude Roger Mbede was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on 28 April after being convicted of same-sex relations. In November, the Yaoundé Court of Appeal adjourned his appeal to February 2012. • Frankie Ndome Ndome, Jonas Nsinga Kimie and Hilaire Nguiffo were sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in November for same-sex relations. • Joseph Magloire Ombwa, Nicolas Ntamack, Sylvain Séraphin Ntsama and Emma Loutsi Tiomela were still awaiting trial at the end of the year after being arrested in August. Stéphane Nounga and one other known as Eric O., who were arrested in August, were provisionally released. • Others arrested and released for alleged same-sex relations included Jean Jules Moussongo, Steve O., Depadou N. and Pierre Arno. Some of them had been lured into a trap by members of the security forces or their agents who claimed to be gay men seeking relationships. DEATH PENALTY The government informed Amnesty International in March that 17 people had been sentenced to death during 2010. The authorities said that all had appealed against their sentences but gave no further information about death sentences during 2011. A presidential decree issued on 3 November commuted death penalty sentences to life imprisonment. However, the decree excluded those who had been convicted of murder or aggravated robbery and did not specify how many had had their sentences commuted.
Tuesday 30 October 2012
Authorities in Cameroon should promptly investigate threats against two prominent lawyers who are representing clients accused of homosexuality, Human Rights Watch said. The government should publicly denounce the threats against the defense lawyers and ensure that they receive necessary protection. Since October 18, 2012, Alice Nkom, a lawyer based in Douala, and Michel Togue, a Yaoundé-based lawyer, have received a series of anonymous threats by cell phone and email related to their work on several high-profile homosexuality cases. One text message to Togue threatened his school-age children and warned him to stop defending people accused of homosexuality. A subsequent email message to Togue warned, “In this country there is no place for faggots and their defenders.” The sender attached photos of Togue’s children leaving their school building. An email message to Nkom stated, “If you don’t stop [‘renoncer’], you’ll see.” The email reiterated the threats to Togue’s children, warning Nkom, “This will be bloody.” It also threatened Nkom’s children. (Human Rights Watch)
Discrimination and persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in South Africa and Cameroon must be halted, Amnesty International said as activists around the world mark the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. Instances of harassment, discrimination, persecution, violence and murders committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity are increasing across sub-Saharan Africa. (Amnesty International)
Wednesday 24 October 2012
Suzanne Nossel, Amnesty International USA executive director, responds to mention of Tunisia in debate: "The president says the United States stood with the protesters in Tunisia but now human rights progress in Tunisia is sputtering," says Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, following release of new evidence by the organization on Thursday of serious human rights abuses, including torture of protesters and a crackdown on journalists, artists and government critics. (Amnesty International USA)
For some time to come, Libya shall stand as an enduring symbol of the West's hypocrisy, and indeed duplicity, on the issue of human rights. While the West, and especially the United States, justified its aerial bombardment of Libya last year on the pretense of saving civilians from a possible, future (rather than actual) attack by Gaddafi forces, the West is silent about the real and ongoing attack of the new Libyan regime upon the town of Bani Walid. Indeed, one must strain hard to even learn of this attack in the press. On October 5, 2012, Amnesty International reported upon the siege of Bani Walid by government forces. As Amnesty explained then, "members of the Libyan army, Libya Shield forces and armed militias from various parts of the country, including Misatra, surrounded Bani Walid," ostensibly on the grounds of trying to hunt down and arrest suspects responsible for the killing of Omran Shaaban, "credited with capturing Colonel Mu'ammar al-Gaddafi on 20 October 2011." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-kovalik/human-rights-libya_b_2001880.html (The Huffington Post)
Tuesday 23 October 2012
The United Nations has condemned abuses committed against prisoners in Georgia that were exposed in videos made public this week, and urged that the violations be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. “We call on the Government to ensure that all allegations of such human rights violations – and not only the ones exposed in these videos – are promptly, impartially and effectively investigated and that perpetrators are brought to justice,” a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Rupert Colville, told reporters in Geneva. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=42949&Cr=Georgia&Cr1= (UN News Centre)
The senior official in charge of prisons in Georgia resigned on Wednesday, after a television station broadcast graphic video of prison inmates being brutally beaten and sodomized by guards. As hundreds of people took to the streets to protest on Wednesday, President Mikheil Saakashvili quickly condemned the abuses and promised that those responsible would be prosecuted. Mr. Saakashvili also pledged to overhaul the prison system. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/world/europe/a-resignation-and-protests-follow-the-release-of-prison-abuse-videos-in-georgia.html?_r=0 (The New York Times)
Monday 22 October 2012
Moroccan authorities should restore the accreditation of Agence France-Presse (AFP) journalist Omar Brouksy and stop retaliating against foreign media for what they report. On October 4, 2012, authorities withdrew Brouksy’s accreditation, citing an article published that day about an election contest in which Brouksy noted that the founder of one political party was close to the royal palace. (Human Rights Watch)
Yemeni state security forces are threatening health care in Aden by forcibly removing wounded alleged militants from hospitals, exchanging fire with gunmen seeking to block the arrests, and beating medical staff, Human Rights Watch said today. One hospital in that southern port city has suspended operations as a result. (Human Rights Watch)
Friday 19 October 2012
The Pakistani government must take immediate steps to protect students, teachers, schools, and rights defenders at risk of attack, Human Rights Watch said today. Armed groups including the Taliban, al Qaeda, and their affiliates should cease attacks that target children, educational personnel, and schools.
New evidence collected by Human Rights Watch implicates Misrata-based militias in the apparent execution of dozens of detainees following the capture and death of Muammar Gaddafi one year ago.
Wednesday 17 October 2012
Barrister Loh George has joined Human IS Right. The Buea barrister gives his availability to cooperate with our organization in the Prisoners' Rights Project. Human IS Right warmly welcome barrister Loh George and we wish him all the best for his generous activity and availability. We believe in Human Rights!