October 5, 2011
UNPO condemns Saturday’s arrest of hundreds of activists engaged in a peaceful demonstration in Southern Cameroons.
Below is a statement published by UNPO:
Over 200 demonstrators were arrested on Saturday [1 October 2011] for participating in a rally organized by the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC) in the town of Buea. Following the arrests of the protestors, several leaders of the SCNC were invited to engage in a dialogue at the Governor’s office but were arrested upon their arrival.
UNPO is extremely concerned about the lack of transparency and respect for democratic rights in Cameroon, amplified in the lead-up to the country’s 2011 presidential elections which are scheduled to take place this Sunday [9 October]. One of Africa’s longest-serving presidents, Paul Biya has ruled the country for almost 30 years and is expected by many to win another 7-year term in the upcoming election. Biya exercises tight control over the country’s electoral commission and judicial system.
UNPO calls upon Cameroonian authorities to immediately release all peaceful demonstrators and SCNC leaders, and to commit itself to a transparent, democratic and fair electoral process.