“I am also concerned by alarming instances of hate speech, including by political leaders, as well as serious restrictions on the political space, with prosecutions in a military court of a number of members of opposition parties. It is essential that steps be taken now, to de-escalate the increasing crisis in the country, and prevent a further descent into violence.” said the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.
On Monday, the US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Tibor Nagy criticised the ongoing detention of Cameroon’s opposition leader, Maurice Kamto.
Nagy told Radio France Internationale that;
“Cameroon would be “very wise” to release Kamto because his detention is widely perceived as politically motivated, despite the government’s claims to the contrary.”
Kamto and more than 150 supporters were arrested in January after taking part in anti-government demonstrations.
On Tuesday, the European Union added its voice to criticism of Cameroon’s treatment of the opposition activists.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also criticised the arrests and what she called the military court’s “disproportionate” proceedings against them.
““Hostility to the homeland” is punishable by death in theory, though no one has been executed in Cameroon for more than 30 years…. The “deterioration of the political and security situation in Cameroon”.
Cameroon governments replied
Cameroon’s communications minister, Rene Emmanuel Sadi, on Wednesday rejected the US criticism, describing it as “barely veiled” and “unacceptable” interference in Cameroon’s internal affairs.
Lejeune Mbella told the council his government was increasing rights training for civil servants and the security forces.