Yaounde(National Times)-The United States State Department has in its 2018 human rights report on Cameroon describe the country as a republic with a strong presidency that in practice retains the power to control legislation.
It remaked that, “ the constitution and law provide for an independent judiciary, but the judiciary is under and often controlled by the president and by, proxy the ruling party. Individuals reportedly accused innocent persons of crimes, often due to political motivation, or caused trial delays to settle personal. Authorities generally enforced court orders”.
According to executive summary of the 45 page report national life in relation to the rule of law and human rights include “ arbitrary and unlawful killings by security forces, as well as armed Anglophone separatists; forced disappearances by security forces, Boko Haram, and separatists; torture by security forces and Anglophone separatists. Prolonged arbitrary detentions; including of suspected Anglophone separatists by security forces; harsh and hard life-threatening prison conditions”.
It further cites “ arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy, violence and harassment targeting journalists by government agents; periodic government restrictions on access to the internet; laws authorizing criminal libel, substantial interference with the right of peaceful assembly; refloument of refugees and asylum seekers by government; restrictions on political participation; violence against women in part due to government inaction; unlawful recruitment and use of child soldiers by Anglophone separatists, government-supported vigilante committees and Boko Haram”.
The same report ventures into “ violence or threats of violence targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex(LGBT) persons, and criminalisation of consensual same sex relations; child labour, including forced child labour and violation of workers’ rights”.
However, the report observed that government did initiate some measures to investigate, punish those who committed such acts, but maintains that, such sanctions were not made public. The report states that, serial offenders continue to operate with impunity.
Government is yet to react to the human rights report of a country whose diplomatic intercourse with the Biya regime has in recent times registered some tough moments.