It is erroneous to call peaceful manifestations criminal action but the vandalism that accompanies them usually varies from misdemeanors to typical felonies.
#ManifestationsCriminalAction When they become felonies the victims or suspects arrested in Cameroon with the slow judiciary process are usually abandoned in cells. Some die awaiting trial, some are judged and thrown into prison and some become unbearable burdens to their families.
The FFCI during its observation of the Strike actions in Bamenda and Buea and in its successful efforts to release on bail the 13 detained suspects in Bamenda was shocked to find that the Victims of the February 2008 ‘hunger strike’ were still awaiting trial . On December 28th 2016, The military tribunal delivered its verdict in the prosecution case involving: DONFACK YANNICK ROMAN, TSAFACK JEAN PIERRE, KENFACK WILLIAM STEPHAN, TSAFACK ERIC and NOUMBO BERTRAND. The court sentenced them to eight years prison term (already served) and a fine of 280.000FCFA each, though their court decision is still not available at the Dschang Principal prison. Eight years awaiting trial was ‘just too much’, they said, for a crime they did not commit. How pathetic! FFCI president talked to some them; who though free couldn’t count or name their losses. They simply regretted having been part of the manifestations.
The truth is that strikes in Cameroon have often had poor prognosis. This is perhaps because they are either poorly organized or led. The demands are often a salad of problems which one could hardly tell if they are eventually resolved or not. The leaders often stay behind and even when arrested, are quickly released to turn the eyes of the international organs of justice and human rights, while the innocent and less privileged gnash their teeth behind bars.
We, the FFCI are not condemning strikes but wish to make it clear that neither the civilians nor the forces of law and order in Cameroon fully understand the process of striking. We would therefore recommend other means of tabling our problems or better still; get proper education about our rights and roles in public manifestations. This is what the FFCI has been doing for the past three weeks; Identifying and educating the radical groups in Bamenda in order to make sure that no innocent individual is arrested and that there be peace and order while the government listens to and solves the teachers and lawyers requests. A word to the wise is sufficient!!!
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