Join with Amnesty International in the fight against Boko Haram
In Cameroon, thousands of people are caught in a cross-fire; the terror of Boko Haram on one side, and the violent abuses of the government’s response on the other. In just one year, over 170,000 people from across the country have fled their homes in the wake of the violent Boko Haram attacks that have killed hundreds in the Far North region of Cameroon.
But the response from the Cameroonian authorities to the terrorist threat has been terrifying and abusive. Thousands of security forces have been deployed, rounding up whole villages and arresting men and boys without explanation or warrant, then torturing and disappearing them.
“Our security forces made us suffer even more than Boko Haram.” – Bintou, a villager in Cameroon
Amnesty International’s efforts
The Cameroonian government’s passing of a new Anti-Terror Law has had devastating consequences for hundreds, a result of its vague and broad definition of terrorism. People have been arrested for crimes such as not having an identity card, or having recently visited Nigeria.
The new law was used to charge the journalist Ahmed Abba with “complicity and non-denunciation of terrorist acts” after he reported on Boko Haram. Ahmed was held in secret for 3 months and tortured; if convicted, he could be sentenced to death. There are more than 1,000 people accused of supporting Boko Haram in prison right now; the new law allows for them to be detained indefinitely with no access to their families or lawyers. More than 100 have been sentenced to death by military courts and conditions in the cells are horrific, amounting to torture.
Conditions in jail for suspects are horrendous – torture, malnutrition, overcrowding and poor sanitation are all rife, and in Maroua prison, up to eight people are dying each month. Those who make it to trial have limited rights in court, raising concerns that a significant number of people have been sentenced to death in unfair trials.
Supporting Amnesty International
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How you can help
The fight against Boko Haram is the right cause. But the Cameroonian government is using the wrong means. Join us to call on the authorities to respect human rights while fighting terror.