February 22, 2007
Mr. Nfor Ngala Nfor (54), UNPO Member Representative, Vice Chairman of Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC) and continuous advocate of Human Rights in Southern Cameroons, was arrested at a press conference in Bamenda,
Also arrested on 20 January 2007 were fellow SCNC representatives: Mbinglo H. Humphrey (65), Tantoh Simon Nshukwi (65), Achu Nji David (56), Stephen Kongnso (45), Dzeni Augustine Shieyntum (36), Henry Lamnyam (35), Lucas Ngwa Che (57), Nguemu Clement Atanga (60), Mongo Steven (43), and Mbi Ann Rita (60). SCNC is an organization which strives to provide political representation to the
All SCNC representatives jailed have remained in Bamenda Central Prison without formal charges being issued. Bail hearings scheduled for 13 February 2007, already twenty-four days after their arrest, were further postponed until 20 February 2007.
Reports indicate over 200 hundred activists, including representatives from human rights organizations and journalists, gathered to observe hearings on 20 February 2007, however were forced to exit the courtroom as hearings proceeded without public witness. Hearings were set to reconvene on 22 February 2007 and despite the reported presence of over 300 activists they were further delayed until 27 February 2007.
UNPO condemns the blatant breach of international law guaranteeing individuals freedom of expression and assembly and the right to due legal process, therefore UNPO has appealed to Ms. Hina Jilani, Special Rapporteur of the General Assembly on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, and Mr. Ambeyi Ligabo, Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression to:
Investigate these cases of arbitrary arrest and unlawful detention and, in accordance with Your mandate, seek assurances from the Government of the Republic of Cameroon that these individuals, as defenders of human rights, are afforded their full rights as enshrined in the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;
Remind the Republic of Cameroon authorities of their obligations under internationally recognised standards of Human Rights, including the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; and
Consider a country visit to the Republic of Cameroon during which You may evaluate and report on the Government of the Republic of Cameroon’s practices with respect to local defenders of Human Rights, with particular attention to their policy towards those defending the rights of minority communities and indigenous peoples, such as the Southern Cameroons community.