Stop Using Covid-19, Anti-Terror Law As Pretext To Quell Dissent- HRW
The international rights organisation, Human Rights Watch, HRW, has cautioned the Cameroon Government against the use of force to stop dissenting voices as the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, protest against the holding of Regional elections without the resolution of the armed conflict in Anglophone Cameroon and modification of the electoral law.
“These steps are a thinly veiled attempt by the Cameroonian government to use the Covid-19 pandemic and the draconian anti-terror law as a pretext to quell the right to assemble,” said Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Cameroon’s authorities should protect and facilitate the right to assemble, not seek to curb it.”
The rights NGO says it has conducted phone interviews between mid-August and early September with 15 leaders and members of opposition parties, as well as 5 representatives from civil society and human rights groups.
The efforts to target the opposition-led demonstrations over Covid-19 appear to be arbitrary, Human Rights Watch said. On September 16, the MRC issued a note providing guidance to all members and supporters who are planning to participate on September 22 on how to ensure peaceful demonstrations and curb the spread of Covid-19 by wearing a face mask.
Hundredths were arrested in the last electoral hold-up protest but were later released. CRM leader, Kamto was also arrested alongside his close collaborators.
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