January 23, 2007
The Hague, 23 January 2007 - UNPO is deeply concerned about the condition of several senior leaders of the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC) who were arrested during a peaceful press conference in Bamenda, Southern Cameroons, on 20 January 2007. UNPO has sent the following appeal, calling for their immediate release and an end to such acts of oppression, to numerous international instructions, as well as the Government of the
On 20 January 2007, members of the Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC) assembled some 300 civilians and journalists for a press conference in Bamenda,
Shortly after the opening of the press conference, the location was raided by armed officers of the Gendarmerie and Divisional Officers from the Mezam region. Witnesses report that the all individuals attending the press conference were detained by the officers whilst they attempted to identify and isolate members of the SCNC. Reports also detail the use of excessive force, resulting in a large number of injuries to SCNC members, as well as unaffiliated civilians. Identified members of the SCNC Council were subsequently loaded into armed security vehicles and transported away.
At present the condition and location of a number of senior members of the SCNC remains unknown.
SCNC Vice Chairperson Mr. Nfor Ngala Nfor was arrested, severely beaten, and transported to an undisclosed location. Since returning to the Southern Cameroons Mr. Nfor has been under constant surveillance, and his safety is therefore the subject of great concern.
In addition, the following SCNC Members remain in detention, under what are described as deplorable conditions:
Mbinglo H. Humphrey (65), Chairman, Northern Zone
Stephen Kongso (45), Bui
Henry Lamnyam (35), Secretary,
Achu Njie David (56), Organising Secretary,
Mongo Stephen (43), Activist, Bamenda LGA
Che Ngwa Lucas (59), Activist
Madame Mbi Ann Rita (60), Activist, Kumba LGA
Augustine Elimtum (33), Activist
Clement Atanga (60), Activist
Dr. Tantoh Simon (65), National Information Desk
Mami Mbiwan Anna (75), Adviser, Kumba LGA
Augustine Shintum, Activist, Kumba LGA
UNPO unreservedly condemns this clear breach of the human rights of those working peacefully for the betterment of the people of
UNPO has therefore appealed for international institutions, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to;
Call upon the authorities of the
Call for the immediate and unconditional release of all members of the SCNC, who work in accordance with principles of peace and non-violence, and who were arrested during an entirely peaceful and lawful assembly of the Southern Cameroons community; and
Remind the Government of the