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Cameroon: Agbor Balla,Fontem Neba and Mancho Bibixy trial reopens today

April 27, 2017

Agbor Balla,Fontem Neba and Mancho Bibixy trial reopens today

Outlawed Consortium leaders, Barrister Agbor Balla Felix, Dr. Fontem Neba, radio broadcaster Mancho Bibixy and at least 25 other youths incarcerated in the nation’s capital for over three months now, will ones more reappear before the Yaoundé Military Tribunal on Thursday 27 April 207.

The three are being charge with Terrorism, Rebellion against the state, Inciting civil unrest and Breach of the constitution.

The battery of defence lawyers

The case involving Barrister Agbor Balla NKongho, Mancho Bibixy and Dr Fontem Neba versus the State of Cameroon was adjourned to Thursday, April 27, 2017 because of the absence of Prosecuting witnesses.

Prior to the trial this Thursday a special hearing held earlier this month at the military tribunal in Yaounde, between  public prosecutor and the defence team who deliberated on whether to collectively handle the cases of Mancho Bibixy, Barister Agbor Balla, Dr Fontem  Neba and those of other 25 youths arrested  during the December 8th uprising in Bamenda.

Following their deliberations, it was resolved that the cases will collectively be handled.

Updates from Yaounde Trial

As Dr. Ernest Molua and Colonial Patrick Ekema wanted, our leaders maybe sentenced to death. This is what BaretaNews correspondent wrote to me:

” I Was in court but just left. These francophones are terrible, they bring in about 17 military men to come and testify against Bala and the others. People without a conscience, I got angry and walked out…”

We are being patient enough. I begged my correspondent to go back in and follow up. Southern Cameroonians are watching carefully.

Stay tuned with BaretaNews.

(Mark Bareta Facebook)

Our Leaders, Mancho Bibixy, Balla Agbor Nkongho and Dr. Fontem in court. The case has been adjourned to the 24th of May. An application for bail was filled in by the defending team.
We have no choice but to continue the resistance and escalate our strategy when timely.
The Consortium.

(The Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium Facebook)

The hearing started 11:14am with the counsel for the civil parties presenting their memorandum of appearance after which they made an oral application for an adjournment to consult the case file, an application which the defence argued vigorously against by citing several provisions of the law to buttress their points. The prosecution on the other hand declared their readiness to open their case by calling their witnesses. The prosecution has 17 witnesses to prove their case. Conspicuous among the counsel for the civil parties is the controversial Barrister Achu Julius Tabe Ngu . In the meantime an application for bail to be granted to Barrister Balla and Neba by the defence was argued vigorously by Barrister Karim Khan, one of the human right lawyers from the UK attending trial. He argued the application for more than an hour citing provisions of the constitution and international conventions and treaties duly signed and ratified by Cameroon notably the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, the Bill of Rights and the African Charter on Humans and Peoples Right. He ended his submission by saying that “judges try cases but cases do try judges”. Other former bar Presidents four in their numbers and other senior colleagues also argued the bail application. After the lengthy arguments from the defence for the bail application, the prosecution requested for adjournment to reply to the application which was granted. The matter was thus adjourned to the 24th May 2017, at the instance of the prosecution.

Cameroon: United Nations Finally Wades Into Anglophone Crisis

April 26, 2017

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa, UNOCA, François Louncérny Fall, has called on the Government to release all those detained in relation to the ongoing Anglophone crisis.

He made the statement in a press conference in Yaounde on Wednesday, April 12.

The senior diplomat visited Cameroon to discuss three pertinent issues notably; the situation of the detainees, the suspension of the internet services in the two Anglophone Regions and the implementation of the recently announced measures by the Government towards addressing the crisis.

Prior to the press conference, he had met with the Prime Minister, Philemon Yang, the Minister of External Relations, Lejeune Mbella Mbella, and other Government officials whom he reportedly advised to release those in detention as a way forward.

He described the situation in both Regions as deplorable, given that, the inhabitants live in fear and have no access to internet connectivity to run their affairs.

Fall is calling on the release of the detainees after having met with them at their detention areas and discussed with their lawyers. “I had the opportunity to  meet with some of the persons held in detention in relation to the ongoing crisis in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, notably Barrister Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla and Mancho Bibixy. They gave me fundamental information and I can assure you that the United Nations is following up with particular attention,” he stated.

Since 17th Jan 2017, hundreds of Anglophones have been arrested & hundreds in exile. List of identified detainees. #Cameroon #Cameroun

17th Jan 2017 – 17th April 2017 • 3 months in prison, lawyer Agbor Nkongho & academic Dr Fontem Neba, arrested and charged with terrorism.

CAMEROON NEWSPAPER HEADLINES: Thursday 27th April, 2017.

Cameroon: Lawyer Félix Nkongho Agbor Balla on trial April 27th

April 26, 2017

Consortium Founding President and Renowned Human Rights Activist, Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla will be on trial on April 27th 2017 for his nonviolent advocacy for the restoration of the human rights and dignity of the people of Southern Cameroons. In the middle of negotiations with the government, he was abducted from his region of birth (and residence) and has since been held hostage in the decrepit Kondengui maximum security prison.

The trial of Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla, Dr. Fon-Tem, Justice Paul Ayah, Mancho Bibixy and other leaders and citizens from Southern Cameroons has become a public test for Cameroon’s media-reticent President. It is an opportunity for Biya to demonstrate true patriotism – a call to put country ahead of personal interest and short term advantage. It is the biggest test of Biya’s commitment to sustainable peace and security for future generations in one of Africa’s top geostrategic regions.

(The Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium Facebook) (FRANCAIS) (FRANCAIS)

Cameroon: Lettre: Me Paul Ayah Abine, détenu au SED écrit aux Camerounais:: Cameroun

le 26 avril, 2017

Image result–ayah-paul-abine-je-suis-victime-d–039-une-machination.html


Par Boris Bertolt, Journaliste lanceur d’alerte

Cela fait 100 jours que le magistrat Ayah Ayah Paul, ancien député du RDPC est incarcéré dans les cellules du Secrétariat d’Etat à la la Défense (SED) à Yaoundé. 100 jours après son enlèvement à son domicile situé au quartier Tam Tam à Yaounde, il n’a toujours pas été jugé, condamné ou acquitté.

Les faits remontent au samedi 21 Janvier 2017 aux environs de 17heures lorsque nes hommes non identifie et bien armes entrent en force dans le domicile de l’avocat général sans un mandat d’arrêt et lui intiment l’ordre de se rendre selon eux, chez le commissaire du gouvernement. En route, la destination change pour le SED sans justification. L’intervention de l’épouse et surtout du dernier fils n’a pas suffit pour empêcher les hommes en tenue d’accomplir leur mission.

D’après les témoignages recueillis auprès de la famille, ils ont pénétré, empêchant Mme Ayah de changer ses vêtements sur le prétexte qu’ils suivaient des ordres. Il aurait même fallu l’intervention du dernier fils du magistrat pour que son père ne soit pas amené moitié nu. Etant au SED, Mr Ayah se rend compte qu’il doit passer des jours la bas sans savoir la raison pour laquelle il s’y retrouve, ni la personne qui a donne l’ordre.

Mais 100 jour après ces faits, l’Etat n’arrive pas à finaliser sa procédure de jugement, ni le traduire définitivement devant les tribunaux alors que la loi anti terrorisme dans son article 12 préconise la mis en jugement directe. Pour les avocats de Ayah Paul, les spéculations vont bon train : « 1- il a été enlevé et non arrêté vu l’absence d’un mandat d’arrêt lors de son arrestation, en violation de l’article 18 du code de procedure penal (CPP). 2-, il a été mis en détention un samedi en violation de l’article 119 (4) du CPP qui dispose que nul ne peux être mis en détention un samedi, dimanche et jour Ferrié sauf en cas de flagrant délit (qui ne s’applique pas dans son cas). Plus grave encore, tout cette cabale a été mené en violation de l’article 629 du code de procédure pénale qui accorde à tous les magistrats un privilège de juridiction ».

Le 17 mars 2017, au cours d’une première audience Tribunal de grande instance de Yaoundé, Centre administratif, le ministère public a affirmé poursuivre Ayah Paul pour complicité et apologie du terrorisme, rébellion, sécession et propagation de fausses nouvelles. Au sortir de cette audience, Ndong Christopher, avocat de Paul Ayah Abine, a déclaré à Cameroon Tribune que «cette procédure que nous avons soulevée est destinée à parler du droit d’Ayah Paul Abine qui a été violé lors de son arrestation devant sa famille pour être amené au SED où il est gardé à vue sans même être inculpé. C’est aujourd’hui au tribunal que nous avons appris les charges qu’il y a contre lui: complicité et apologie du terrorisme et rébellion, sécession, propagation de fausses nouvelles».

Boris Bertolt, Journaliste lanceur d’alerte


Cameroon/UK: Law Society’s intervention letter on pre-trial detention in Cameroon

April 25, 2017

Image result for law society of english and wales

The Law Society is a professional body representing more than 166,000 lawyers in England and Wales. Its aims include upholding the independence of the legal profession, the rule of law and human rights around the world. The Law Society has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 2014.

We understand that on 30 March 2017, the Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals announced that certain measures would be taken, such as the inclusion of a Common Law Section as part of the Supreme Court and National School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM), and the recruitment of more Anglophone teachers at ENAM, as well as court officers. We also understand that the internet shutdown has been lifted in the Anglophone regions. Although the Law Society welcomes such measures to the extent that these address concerns that gave rise to the demonstrations of lawyers and other civil society actors in Cameroon recently, we remain concerned about the fact that Nkongho Felix Agbor, Fontem Aforteka’A Neba, Paul Ayah Abine, and others are being tried by a military tribunal pursuant to Law No. 2014/028 of 28 December 2014 on the suppression of acts of terrorism.

We refer to our letter of 13 February 2017, regarding the arrest and detention of Nkongho Felix Agbor, Fontem Aforteka’A Neba, Paul Ayah Abine, and others. In that letter, we referred to international and regional standards on the lack of jurisdiction of military tribunals over civilians, the rights to freedom of expression, the right to liberty and security of the person, and other rights. We understand that Nkongho Felix Agbor and Fontem Aforteka’A Neba were arrested and detained on 17 January 2017 and were detained formally by order of 20 January 2017 of the “Commissaire du Gouvernement” of the Military Tribunal of Yaoundé.

Biya P HE, 25 04 17 PDF

Biya P HE, 25 04 17 French, 25 04 17 PDF (FRANCAIS)

The Philippines/ICC: Solgen wants lawyer who sued Duterte before int’l court disbarred

April 25, 2017

SOLICITOR General Jose Calida said Tuesday that he will ask the Supreme Court to disbar the lawyer who filed a complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte and 11 government officials before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.

Calida said the complaint of Jude Sabio, legal counsel of self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, against Duterte were “malicious” and “baseless”.

“It appears that this lawyer is in the business of maliciously filing baseless suits based only on hearsays and unfounded suspicions,” the top government lawyer said in a statement.

Calida said this is not the first time that Sabio will face a complaint for filing a “groundless” case against an individual.

In 2008, the SC sanctioned Sabio for violating the Lawyers’ Code of Professional Responsibility when he filed a groundless bribery charge against Cabuyao, Laguna Municipal Trial Court of Cities Judge Alden Cervantes.

He was directed to pay P5,000 by the SC and was warned that a more severe penalty would be imposed had he repeat the questioned act.

“This perennial loser stubbornly refuses to heed the warning from the Supreme Court that if he commits the same infraction, he will be punished more severely,” Calida said. “We will see him in court,” he added. (ESPANOL)

China: A Joint Statement by Legal Professional Groups & Human Rights NGOs on the Forthcoming Trials of the Cases of the 709 Crackdown – Call on China to Ensure the Right to a Fair Trial

April 25, 2017


In a joint statement, Human Rights Now, a Tokyo-based international human rights NGO, together with legal professional groups and human rights NGOs, called on the Chinese authorities to ensure the right of a fair trial in the forthcoming trials of the cases of the ‘709-crackdown’.

Please read the entire statement below.


 Since 9 July 2015, the Chinese government has questioned, summoned and/or detained over 300 human rights lawyers, law firm staff and human rights defenders in a manoeuvre now commonly known as the “709 Crackdown”.  Some of these individuals were subsequently indicted for their “crimes”.  In early August 2016, four individuals – human rights lawyer Zhou Shifeng and defenders Hu Shigen, Gou Hongguo and Zhai Yanmin – were convicted and sentenced in a deeply flawed trial process that breached both domestic and international laws. [1]Lawyers Li Heping, Xie Yang and Wang Quanzhang as well as legal activist Wu Gan have been indicted following the Crackdown.  It has remained a concern that no trial arrangements have thus far been made for the cases. To caution against repeating the rights violations that took place in the August 2016 hearings, we, the undersigned, solemnly call on the Chinese government to abide by its laws and Constitution as well as international human rights standards by ensuring that respective judicial processes, when take place, will be conducted in full compliance with the basic principles of due process, including the right to a fair trial.  Specifically, we are concerned about violations related to independent and impartial courts; the presumption of innocence; the right to counsel; and an open trial. We also express our grave and continued concern about the status of lawyer Jiang Tianyong, who has been held in secret detention since 21 November 2016.[2] (JAPANESE/ENGLISH)