Posted at 0001hrs GMT 19 June 2015
Cameroonian authorities must immediately end the six-month illegal detention of 84 children – some as young as five years-old - who were rounded up during a raid on Quranic schools in the far north of the country, Amnesty International said today.
On 20 December 2014, Cameroonian security forces raided a series of schools in a town called Guirvidig, arresting 84 children and 43 men – including many teachers. All but three of the children are under 15 years old and 47 are under 10. The authorities claim the schools were being used as fronts for ‘Boko Haram training camps’.
Six months on, the children remain detained in a children’s centre in Maroua, the main city of the northern region, despite having been charged with no crimes. In the absence of provisions from local authorities, Unicef provided mattresses for the centre while the World Food Program has been providing food stocks, which are now running low.