Urgent Action: ACTIVIST HELD WITHOUT CHARGE FOR 200 DAYS (Cameroon: UA 1.23)

February 27, 2023

Peace activist Abdul Karim Ali has been arbitrarily detained without charge since 11 August 2022. While the authorities have provided no formal reason for his detention, he was interrogated repeatedly about a video he made on 9 July 2022 denouncing a Cameroonian military chief for allegedly torturing civilians. If this is the basis for his detention, it is a violation of his right to freedom of expression. Two of Abdul Karim’s friends have also been taken into detention alongside him since then. Amnesty International is calling on the Cameroonian authorities to either charge the three men with a recognisable criminal offence or immediately release them.

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TAKE ACTION:

  1. Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on April 24, 2023.
  2. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  3. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 1.23. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

CONTACT INFORMATION

H.E Joseph Beti Assomo
Minister of Defence of the Republic of Cameroon
Ministry of Defence
Boulevard de la Réunification
B.P. 1162, Yaoundé, Cameroon
Email: [email protected]
H.E. Ambassador Henri Etoundi Essomba
Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon
2349 Massachusetts Ave N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: 202 265 8790 I Fax: 202 387 3826
Email: [email protected]
Contact Form: https://www.cameroonembassyusa.org/main23/contact.html
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

SAMPLE LETTER

To His Excellency,

I am writing to request your urgent attention to the case of Abdul Karim Ali, a prominent Cameroonian peace activist who has been in detention without charge since 11 August 2022. Abdul Karim Ali ran the Peace Research Center and would regularly deliver speeches and trainings on peace and security, including internationally. He was a vocal advocate of the Swiss-led mediation process as a way out of the Anglophone crisis. Two of his friends have also been detained in relation to their connection with him.

On 11 August 2022, Abdul Karim Ali was arrested, without a warrant, and taken into detention in the city of Bamenda, north-western Cameroon, where he was held for 84 days – 4 of which were incommunicado – at a military police station (gendarmerie) in degrading conditions, including deprivation of food and water for several days, having to use a single bucket both as a toilet and for bathing. While no formal reason has been given for his detention, he was interrogated repeatedly about a video he made on 9 July 2022 denouncing a Cameroonian military chief known as ‘Moja Moja’ for reportedly torturing civilians. Two of Abdul Karim’s friends and his brother were also later detained by the gendarmerie, with reference to vague allegations of being his drivers. While his brother was released after payment of a large sum of money, his friends Rabio Enuah and Yenkong Sulemanu remain in detention alongside Abdul Karim Ali. In November 2022, they were transferred to the Secretary of State Defense (Secretariat d’État à la Défense – SED), a detention centre in Yaoundé, the capital, where they remain to this day.

As of 27 February 2023, Abdul Karim Ali has spent 200 days in detention without charge, in violation of Cameroonian law and international human rights standards. If denouncing the actions of Chief Moja Moja is the only reason for his arrest, he should be released immediately, since his detention would stem solely from the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression. Neither Rabio Enuah nor Yenkong Sulemanu have been charged with any crime either.

In light of the above, I urge you to ensure that Abdul Karim Ali is immediately released or charged with a recognizable criminal offence. Rabio Enuah and Yenkong Sulemanu should also be immediately from detention or charged with a recognizable criminal offence.

Yours sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

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