of lawyers give up defending opponents of the MRC

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A group of Cameroonian lawyers gave up, on Thursday 9 September, to defend one hundred activists in the party of the main opponent, Maurice Kamto, imprisoned for almost a year, in the face of the impossibility of having “access to fair justice”.

On September 22, 2020, police violently suppressed the marches organized by Maurice Kamto’s Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (MRC) and by other opposition parties to demand the resignation of President Paul Baya, in power for almost 39 years.

Of the approximately 500 militants and cadres in the MRC who have been arrested, 124 are still in custody, the opposition party says. Cameroonian authorities have repeatedly confirmed that the detainees were specifically charged with “attempted insurrection”.

On Thursday, the group of fifty lawyers who defended them announced that they could no longer do so. “The collective declares that it can not be associated with arbitrariness and illegality, and makes the heavy and sensitive decision to withdraw from the ongoing proceedings,” they wrote in a public statement.

“Parody of Justice” Master Emmanuel Simh, a member of this collective and Vice President of the Cameroon Rebirth Movement (MRC), explains why lawyers took this decision which he describes as difficult and serious to no longer defend their defense “Lawyers find it impossible justice in the case of the MRC’s militants simply follows Yaoundé’s political power, which for us benefits from these procedures. To decide political points with a party still legalized. impartiality and justice for Cameroonian judges, whether civil, administrative or military, and it is inconceivable that civilians will be tried in military jurisdiction despite the protests that have taken place, so it seemed necessary for us as lawyers to stop lending our profession to what we ultimately consider to be a real parody of justice.Supporting these people under these conditions n is to be complicit in this justice which is not in fact such. “

In a joint statement, the detainees concerned stated that they had also decided “not to submit to any fraud”.

► See also: Cameroon: Human Rights Watch calls for the release of opponents of the MRC

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