February 9, 2017
The ICJ today condemned the arbitrary arrests and incommunicado detention of lawyer Felix Agbor-Balla and Dr. Fontem Aforteka’a Neba. They have been charged with a number of offences involving terrorism; rebellion against the State; incitement of civil unrest and breach of the Constitution.
Felix Agbor-Balla (photo) and Fontem Aforteka’a Neba, respectively President and Secretary General of the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC), were arrested on 17 January 2017, after the Minister of Territorial Administration banned all activities, meetings and demonstrations of the CACSC and the Southern Cameroon National Council (SCNC).
Since late October 2016, Cameroon has faced a number of demonstrations in several cities in the English-speaking regions of the country.
The protesters have been calling for an end of the use of the French language in courts and schools, among other demands, and the government has accused the two organizations, CACSC and SCNC, of supporting these activities.
The protests began after an indefinite strike by school teachers in the city of Bamenda, by youth protesting against alleged neglect of the Anglophone regions of Cameroon.
Felix Agbor-Balla and Fontem Aforteka’a Neba are currently detained incommunicado at the Yaounde Central Prison in Kondegui, which is far from where family members live. Their trial which had been set for 1 February 2017 was postponed without notice or due cause to 13 February 2017.