By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Human Rights Lawyer Barrister Amungwa Tanyi Nicodemus who was arrested on May 31 in Cameroon’s political capital Yaounde has been finally released.
Amungwa was arrested at the Groupement Territorial de la Gendarmerie in Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé while he was assisting a client. His arrest led to calls from national and international rights groups for him to be freed.
The Cameroon Bar obtained his release after a ferocious fight to bail him. According to reports, it took three executive members to sign as guarantors – the President of the Bar Claire ATtangana Bikouna; the representative of the President for the Center, South and East regions; Barrister Pierre Robert Fojou, and Barrister Daniel.
“Possessing photographs that provide evidence of abuses in the English-speaking regions is not a crime, far less an act to incite terrorism. Cameroonian authorities should immediately release Amungwa and ensure both his due process rights and his role and privileges as a lawyer is respected,” HRW said.
“His arbitrary detention reveals a system geared towards stifling and undermining the role and activities of lawyers involved in key human rights cases. CHRDA condemns this arrest as it is a direct attack on human rights defenders and call for his immediate release,” a statement from the Centre for Human Ri8ghts and democracy in Africa (CHRDA) read in part.
According to the human rights group, several Anglophones have been arrested and detained and some tried on counts of terrorism for the mere fact that their telephones were arbitrarily searched by military officers and images and other content related to the Anglophone crisis was found in their possession.