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Cameroon: Worrying reports of deaths in protests in the Anglophone regions

    October 02, 2017

    Following worrying reports that several people have been shot dead by security forces in massive protests- some of which turned violent- in the Cameroon’s Anglophone regions, Ilaria Allegrozzi, Amnesty International Lake Chad researcher said.

    “The reported unlawful killing of several people in the Anglophone regions by the security forces coupled with the blocks on Facebook and WhatsApp represent an extremely worrying escalation of the government’s on-going campaign to silence any form of dissent in the West and South-West regions of Cameroon.

    “In order to avoid further bloodshed, the security forces must cease unnecessary and excessive use of force, and protesters should be peaceful if they want to make their voices heard. The government should investigate these killings.

    “The arbitrary decision to ban meetings and movement is totally unacceptable. The authorities must respect people’s right to freedom of assembly and movement.”

    Background

    Yesterday was the 56th anniversary of the Unification of the country. Pro-independence protests were staged in the North-West and the South-West where security forces were significantly deployed. Sources on the ground reported to Amnesty International the killing of several protesters by the security forces. On 30 September, sources also told the organization they were unable to use WhatsApp and Facebook while internet services were up and down. This followed a 72 hours ban on public meetings and travel ordered on 29 September by the Governor of the North-West region.

    For more information please contact: Jacob Kuehn, Media Relations 613-744-7667 ext 236 or jkueyn@amnesty.ca