Amnesty International has revealed that more than 1,000 suspected Boko Haram militants incarcerated in Cameroon are dying of disease, malnutrition, and torture.
In its report, Amnesty International says that authorities and security forces in Cameroon have arbitrarily arrested hundreds of individuals accused of supporting Boko Haram — often with little or no evidence — detaining them in inhumane, often life-threatening conditions.
Even though the government of Cameroon is yet to officially comment on the development, concerns are rife over how at least eight of these suspected persons are dying on a monthly basis.
Alioune Tine, Amnesty International West and Central Africa regional director, reports, “In seeking to protect its population from the brutality of Boko Haram, Cameroon is pursuing the right objective; but in arbitrarily arresting, torturing and subjecting people to enforced disappearances the authorities are using the wrong means.
“With hundreds of people arrested without reasonable suspicion that they have committed any crime, and people dying on a weekly basis in its overcrowded prisons, Cameroon’s government should take urgent action to keep its promise to respect human rights while fighting Boko Haram.”
The report by Amnesty International follows a recent suicide attack by Boko Haram in Djakana, near Cameroon’s far north region of Limani, killing 11 people.
So far, close to 500 civilians have died in the violence involving Boko Haram in Cameroon this year alone.
In addition, Boko Haram has caused more than 170,000 people from Cameroon, mostly women and children, to flee their homes, leaving them internally displaced across the far north region.