In the past year, certain prominent NGOs have been peddling the impression that the violence taking place right now in Ambazonia is a conflict between two sparing parties. Invoking the value of political neutrality, they rush to always address what "both sides" are doing in "equal measure."
This is equivalent to narrating the David and Goliath fight as a "fair match".
It has been 250 days since the Nigerian secret service seized Julius AyukTabe, known for his nonviolent leadership of the movement for the rights of the people of Ambazonia (Southern Cameroons), and 11 of his senior aides. Nigeria then forcibly handed them over to Cameroon in violation of non-refoulement, a fundamental principle of international law which forbids a country receiving asylum seekers from returning them to a country in which they would be in likely danger of persecution.
In June 2018, under scrutiny from the international community, the government of Cameroon allowed Julius and his aides to see a lawyer, who then documented the circumstances of their illegal arrest and are now demanding their immediate release based on the writ of habeas corpus. Please tell the Cameroon and Nigerian governments that they must respect human rights and release these imprisoned leaders immediately!
We have succeeded to get 60 names out of more than 500 Ambazonians detained at SED and under serious torture and inhuman treatment, some have been summarily executed while others are dying for lack of basic health attention. Let the world know that we know that our brothers and sisters are there and we need a quick human rights, family and legal counsel access to all those detained at SED.
Below is Penn Terence’s written submission from behind bars via a surrogate who was one of the witnesses at the hearing this afternoon 06.27.2018 of the the US Congress’s Foreign Relations Committee’s SubCommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations.
URGENT!!! A resolution has been submitted to the US House of Representatives that, if passed, would save lives in the targeted communities of Ambazonia in West Africa. House Resolution 718 proposes condemning the actions of the Cameroon regime, including the recent human rights abuses that have gained international media attention. It was submitted in Congress on January 29, 2018, and it must be brought to a vote before the end of this Congressional session if it to count.
The Ambazonian struggle has for many years relied on the rigorous reporting and action of Amnesty International, widely recognized as the foremost guardian of human rights guardian worldwide. Yet, the Ambazonia Prisoners of Conscience Support Network and its undersigned allies are deeply troubled by the contents of the recently released Amnesty International report “A TURN FOR THE WORSE: VIOLENCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN ANGLOPHONE CAMEROON,” as well as comments made and actions taken by its spokesperson, Illaria Allegrozzi. We are writing this letter to delineate these concerns, and the historical-political context of neocolonial patterns within which they are relevant. In doing this we hope to create a context for sincere dialogue with committed Amnesty staff and supporters on these matters.
Below is a primer on the Crisis in Ambazonia, written from behind bars by Penn Terence Khan.
A teacher by profession and law student at the time of his arrest in January 2017, Penn Terence has been an advocate for the integrity of the indigenous educational system in the occupied territory of Ambazonia. Prior to his arrest, Penn Terence served as the vice-principal of the Cameroon College of Arts Science and Technology (CCAST) Bambili, a college known for its academic excellence.