Posts Tagged ‘Abdulkarim Shehu’

Example of harassment from Cameroon reads like a film scenario

April 1, 2014

Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - croppedOn 28 March 2014, human rights defender Mr Musa Usman Ndamba, a defender of the rights of the Mbororo community in Cameroon, appeared before the Bamenda Court of First Instance, and the trial was once again adjourned to the 23rd of May 2014. The trial of 28 March 2014 was the eighth such hearing in an ongoing trial against Musa Usman Ndamba led by a local wealthy landowner, Baba Ahmadou Danpullo, who has never attended any of the hearings. Meanwhile, two other defenders of the rights of the Mbororo, Messrs Abdulkarim Shehu and Mallam Yunusa are in detention whilst an arrest warrant has been issued for human rights defender Mr Fon Christopher Achobang. Musa Usman Ndamba is the Vice-President of Mbororo Social and Cultural Development Association (MBOSCUDA). Abdulkarim Shehu is a male nurse and social development worker, as well as founder and co-ordinator of the Angel of Hope Foundation, a health centre that caters for people with disabilities. Mallam Yunusa is an organiser of the Mbororo community of Banjah. Fon Christopher Achobang is a land rights campaigner and journalist sympathetic to the plight of the Mbororo.

Members of the community and their defenders have long been facing severe judicial and other harassment owing to disputes over their land.  ……On 19 March 2014, authorities of the Catholic Church, led by a representative of the Archbishop of the Bamenda Archdiocese, directed a group of hired militias with a bulldozer to demolish the homes of the Mbororo in the Ndzah village. The community mobilised and stopped the demolition from taking place. However, during the stand-off both the representative of the Archbishop and Fon Christopher Achobang were injured. After the incident, at which he was not present, Abdulkarim Shehu reportedly took members of the police to the site to show them what had happened. Fon Christopher Achobang was forced to go into hiding after threats on his life following the incident. According to lawyers for the Mbororo Banjah community, the invasion took place in spite of a court case pending in the Bamenda Administrative Court with a Stay of Execution of the Order on the now disputed land, as a contested eviction notice had been issued the week before. Additionally, despite having been alerted to the impending invasion, government officials did nothing to stop it from going ahead, in complete violation of the law and the legal rights of the Mbororo community.

Front Line Defenders issued a previous urgent appeal regarding the ongoing judicial harassment against MBOSCUDA and Musa Usman Ndamba on 14 May 2013, while  the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders also sent a communication to the Cameroonian government regarding the same.