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Gov’t Bars Lawyers From Visiting Kamto, Others Detained CRM Militants

Yaoundé(National Times)-The Government of Cameroon through the authorities at the Yaoundé Military Tribunal have barred Lawyers from meeting the leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM), Maurice Kamto and scores of other militants detained in various facilities in and around Yaoundé.

“The college of Lawyers constituted to defend members of CRM arrested on January 26 and 28 following demonstrations organised informs the national and international public that their clients actually being detained at the central command post of the Mobile Intervention Unit (GMI) of the Police in Soa, the National Gendarmerie Headquarters (SED) and the Special Operations Unit of the Police (GSO) have been refused visits and assistance from their Lawyers which is in violation of article 122 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code,” a communiqué signed by Kamto’s Spokesperson read.

According to these Lawyers led by Lead Counsel, Barrister Emmanuel Simh, during their routine visits to Kamto and others detained at GSO and SED on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 February respectively they were refused entry, a scenario which repeated itself on Monday, February 11 again.

The following day, February 12, a battery of Lawyers also tried in vain to visit Kamto at GSO and was prevented from meeting him, while Lawyers who left Douala for their clients detained at GMI Soa on the outskirts of Yaoundé were unable to meet their clients.

The Lawyers said authorities at the various detention facilities requested an authorisation from the Government Commissioner at the Yaoundé Military Court before they could see their clients. Contacted on the phone, the Government Commissioner sent them to the Attorney General which was also fruitless. The matter was presented to the Bar Council President requesting him to intervene so that Lawyers can be allowed to do their work freely.

In the meantime, no official reason has been given by the Government. However, all the authorities contacted seem to push the blame to other. It is to be noted that among those arrested are two Lawyers and the Bar Council had previously urged the Government to release them immediately.

Latest reports say Kamto and others have been transferred to the Kondengui Prison.

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