The Cameroon Bar Association has taken a firm stance following the recent persecution of its members by the Cameroon military.
The historic barbarism perpetrated on legal personnel in Cameroon appeared to have “crossed a threshold” when lawyers were brutalised and teargassed right inside the courtroom of the Bonanjo Court of First Instance, Douala.
The events of last week were proceeded by systematic arrest of lawyers under very inhumane conditions. Among them are Firebrant Human Rights Lawyer, Barrister Tamfu Richard, and Maitre Armel Tchuemegne Kenmegne, arrested on Wednesday November 18, 2020 without a warrant.
The pair was arrested on November 18, 2020 and have recently been transferred to the Douala New Bell Prison.
In what has been termed “a prompt reaction”, the interim Bar President, Barrister Atangana Bikouna Claire met with other Bar Council Executives in an extra-ordinary session – in which key decisions were jointly arrived at.
They unanimously resolved to call for a Nationwide strike. The lawyers from November 30, 2020 to December 4, 2020 will be expected to boycott all court sessions throughout the national territory.
The Cameroon Bar Council calls for Court boycott from the 30-4 December 2020. It equally decided to cancel the judicial honors for the late Bar President Tchakoute PATIE Charles, initially scheduled to take place at the Court of Appeal in Douala and the Supreme Court in Yaounde.
It equally Suspends the appearance of lawyers in criminal matters in all the courts and also suspend all appearances by lawyers in all courts dealing with electoral disputes, including the Constitutional Council; after the nation wide strike action.
IN THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND AND TWENTY
AND ON THE TWENTY FIRST DAY OF NOVEMBER
Sitting in an Extra-Ordinary Bar Council Session convened by the Interim Bar President Barrister ATANGANA BIKOUNA Claire, enlarged to include the President of the General Assembly of the Bar Association, Barrister MORFAW Evaristus NKAFU,
IN THE PRESENCE OF
1.Me ATANGANA BIKOUNA Claire (Bâtonnier Pi)
2.MEMONG Philippe Olivier (Secrétaire)
3.Me NTOKO Justice EBAH
4.Me MBUYAH Gladys FRI
5.Me FOJOU Pierre Robert
6.Me DEUGOUE Raphaël
7.Me MOHAMADOU SOULEYMANOU
8.Me MBAH Eric MBAH
9.Me NGOS Daniel Blaise
10.Me AKUM Michael NCHE (Trésorier)
CONSIDERING THAT, following the resolutions of the Bar Council dated the 13 of November 2020, relating to police brutality on lawyers on the 10 of November 2020 at the Court of First Instance Bonanjo, Douala, which condemned the said acts and called for exemplary sanctions against the perpetrators, two Douala based Lawyers, Lawyers TAMFU NGARKA Tristel Richard and TCHUENMENGNE KEMMEGNE Armel, eye witnesses to this brutality were, without any prior summons or warrant, way laid and apprehended by elements of the Judicial Police of the Littoral Region and charged with Insulting a Magistrate, destruction and Commenting on a matter which is sub judis. These Lawyers were detained from the 18 to the 20 of November 2020 and later remanded in custody by the State Counsel of the said court, to be tried under the flagrante delito procedure on the 23 of November 2020.
Investigations reveal that the State Counsel of the Court of First Instance Bonanjo, Douala, has ordered for the arrest and detention of 15 lawyers; some of whom are either victims or eye witnesses of the November 10 incident. The incarceration of these two colleagues points to the fate of the remaining 13 lawyers on his list. This leaves no one in doubt as to the existence of an elaborate scheme to persecute Lawyers through judicial actions, as well as the avowed resolve of some Magistrates to denigrate Lawyers and impede on the exercise of their profession at all levels.
In the face of this glaring evidence of a scheme to persecute Lawyers who are now treated as miscreants;
THE BAR COUNCIL HEREBY
CALLS on Lawyers, more than ever before, to be cautious, calm and vigilant, in order to avoid provocation and violent confrontation, at the risk of falling into the multiple snares designed to weaken the Bar, particularly at this difficult moment when we lost and are preparing to bury the late Bar President.
DECIDES, besides the ensuing measures and without prejudice to any other subsequent measures to be taken, including the convening of a protest Extra-Ordinary General Assembly and, until an end is put to this caba by the release of all lawyers in detention, on the one hand and in a bid to revamp the tarnished image of the profession, on the other hand;
THE MEMBERS PRESENT UNANIMOUSLY DECIDE AS FOLLOWS
Article 1: CANCEL THE JUDICIAL HONOURS for the late Bar President, TCHAKOUTE PATIE Charles, initially scheduled to take place at the Court of Appeal of the Littoral Region in Douala and the Supreme Court in Yaounde. The said judicial honours shall take place in a different location, more accommodating to Lawyers, which will be communicated later.
Article 2: CALL FOR A NATION WIDE STRIKE from the 30 of November to the 4 of December 2020, during which no lawyer shall attend court.
Article 3: SUSPEND, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, the appearance of lawyers in criminal matters in all the courts throughout the National territory, including the Supreme Court and the Special Criminal court and also suspend all appearances by lawyers in all courts dealing with electoral disputes, including the Constitutional Council; after the nation wide strike action referred to in Article 2 above.
Article 4. The Secretary of the Bar is charged with the production and publication of this resolution which shall be kept in the archives of the Bar.
Bar Secretary The interim Bar President
Barr Phillipe MEMONG Barr. ATANGANA BIKOUNA Claire