Ethnic Charter Flight to Cameroon, imminent!
UKBA have served ‘Open ended removal directions’ on an unknown number of Cameroonian families, individual men & women, who are all currently in detention. They have not and will not be told the date/time of the removal, only that it will take place before the 15th September 2009. It may well happen this week.
This is a call for everyone to urge the Home Secretary to review government policy on forced removals to Cameroon by use of ‘Ethnic charter flight’. It is shocking to see Home Secretary Alan Johnson supporting and adopting such inhumane tactics to forcibly remove Cameroonians – vulnerable men, women and children – from UK to a country where the current regime is well-known for its poor record on human rights, and its corruption problems at all levels.
Despite the constitution and laws of Cameroon prohibiting the practice of torture, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments, according to US Department of State Human Rights Report Cameroon 2008 (published 25/2/09) , “there were credible reports that security forces tortured, beat, and otherwise abused prisoners and detainees, including demonstrators and a human rights worker arrested during the February riots. The government rarely investigated or punished any of the officials involved.”
The report also stated that “The government’s human rights record remained poor, and it continued to commit human rights abuses. Security forces committed numerous unlawful killings. Security forces also engaged in torture, beatings, and other abuses, particularly of detainees and prisoners. Prison conditions were harsh and life threatening. Authorities arrested and detained anglophone citizens advocating secession, local human rights monitors and activists, persons not carrying government-issued identity cards, and other citizens. The government restricted citizens’ freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association, and harassed journalists. Impeded citizens’ freedom of movement. Other problems included widespread official corruption; societal violence and discrimination against women; female genital mutilation (FGM); trafficking in persons, primarily children; and discrimination against pygmies, ethnic minorities, indigenous people, and homosexuals. The government restricted worker rights and the activities of independent labor organizations. Child labor, hereditary servitude, and forced labor, including forced child labor, were problems.”
According to IRIN Yaounde, 26 August 2009, Cameroon as of end of 2008, more than 23,000 detainees were being held in facilities with a capacity for 16,000 people, according to CNHDL. Prison conditions are “draconian, inhuman and degrading”, a report released 12 August by the national commission on human rights and freedoms (CNDHL), which condemns both the physical conditions and the slowness of the judicial system. For years human rights watchdogs in and outside Cameroon have decried prison conditions in Cameroon. In addition to overcrowding, the organization cited the following as the most serious problems it found in visits to five of the country’s prisons: high death rate among detainees, absence of hygiene and medical care, shortage of toilet and washing facilities, failure to separate minors from the rest of the prison population and overall dilapidation of detention areas. Lack of food is also a problem, CNHDL says. “The food ration comes to less than 100 CFA francs (21 US cents) per prisoner per day.”
Please support the fight against charter flight removals to Cameroon by:
Sending Email/faxes to Rt Hon Alan Johnson, Home Secretary, demanding that this flight be cancelled on humanitarian grounds (especially in light of the numerous Human Rights reports expressing concerns about Cameroon authorities attitudes and actions particularly towards cultural and political persecution).
For further info please contact:
Geraldine Agbor – Tel 078 8194 8859
Source for this Message:
Campaign Against Removals to Cameroon