Parliamentarians for Global Action, PGA have welcome the adoption of the European Parliament Resolution on Cameroon and are now calling for the immediate release of opposition leader Prof. Maurice Kamto and all political prisoners.
In a statement over the weekend, the PGA observed that the European Parliament adopted on 18 April 2019, in its last plenary of the 2014-19 legislature, a pivotal resolution condemning the gross human rights violations perpetrated in Cameroon against opponents and dissidents. They say the resolution that condemns “the politically motivated arrest of members of the opposition, starting with former presidential candidate Prof. Maurice Kamto, an eminent jurist who served as Judge at the International Court of Justice and member of The Hague Academy of International Law”, came upon the proposal of all political groups,.
“The text of the resolution reects language tabled by PGA Members Ms. Judith Sargentini (MEP, The Netherlands), Ms. Barbara Lochbihler (MEP, Germany), and Heidi Hautala (MEP, Finland) on behalf of the Greens group, and by Ms. Marietje Schaake (MEP, The Netherlands) on behalf of the ALDE group. European Parliament Vice-President, Mr. Fabio Massimo Castaldo (MEP, Italy; PGA member), co-tabled the nal text on behalf of the EFDD group,” the PGA said in a release.
The global PGA network calls all relevant bodies of the International Community “to take action to restore democracy and human rights under the Rule of Law in Cameroon”. In particular, PGA calls upon the African Union, the United Nations and all partners of Cameroon, including the European Union within the framework of the revised Cotonou Agreement between the Africa-Caribbean-Pacic (ACP) and the EU, to request the Government of Cameroon “to refrain from interfering with the independence and autonomy of Judges and Prosecutors”.
“The authority of Judges and Prosecutors shall not be abused for the purpose of eliminating political opponents of the Government and conning them in detention,” they said.
In respect of all political actors within Cameroon, the President of PGA, Ms. Margareta Cederfelt of Sweden, stated:
“I urge the Presidency of the Republic and all the constitutional actors in the Republic of Cameroon to open a new phase of peaceful dialogue with the political opposition and minority-groups with the view of bringing about democratic renewal for the benet of all peoples, communities and individuals living in Cameroon. The immediate liberation of Prof. Maurice Kamto would be a clear demonstration that the Republic of Cameroon is ready to be a peaceful and trusted partner of the International Community in the joint struggle for peace, democracy, sustainable development and human rights under the Rule of Law.”
Cameroon gives clarifications
In a media outing, Monday, Cameroon’s Communication Minister and Government Spokesman gave clarifications on the arrest and detention of opposition leader Maurice Kamto, President of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM), apparently justifying why he would not be freed.
“…The Government recalls that it was on January 26, 2019, that these people, in small groups, took to the streets in the cities of Yaoundé, Douala, Bafoussam, Bafang, Bangangté and Dschang, to carry out marches there, in violation of the ban on public demonstrations which had nevertheless been formally notied to them by the competent administrative authorities.
“At the same time, on that January 26, 2019, hordes of demonstrators claiming to belong to the CRM invaded and ransacked Cameroon’s Embassies abroad, particularly in Paris and Berlin. It is in this regard that 151 people were arrested in the hours and days following these events and taken to security units in Douala and then in Yaoundé.
“14 These persons were taken into police custody, in accordance with the charges brought against them. Brought before the Investigating Judge, the 151 persons arrested were charged with insurgency, hostility against the homeland, rebellion, degradation of public property, public demonstration, crowding and contempt of the President of the Republic.
“These acts are provided for and punished by the Cameroonian Penal Code. Should I say it again, the charges on which Maurice Kamto and his supporters were arrested and remanded in custody are therefore clear and in accordance with Cameroon’s laws and regulations, as well as with the international conventions that our country has freely endorsed,” Sadi said.
Responding to allegations that the Cameroonian authorities systematically oppose the freedom to demonstrate publicly, he said the Government wishes to make it clear that “the regime of public demonstrations is set by law, and any person or group of persons wishing to hold a public demonstration must make a prior declaration to that effect. As in all countries, it may happen that, for reasons of threat to public order, a demonstration is not authorized. In this case, the organizers of the said demonstration must refrain from going against the law.”