External Content

The following content is sourced from external partners. We cannot guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.

By Sylvain Anzongo

YAOUNDE (Reuters) - A Cameroonian military court on Wednesday threw out a request for bail for three English-speaking activists who could face the death penalty for taking part in a protest against the government of President Paul Biya.

The case has stoked opposition to Biya and widened divisions between majority French-speaking and smaller Anglophone populations, the legacy of Cameroon's unique history of being carved up between British and French colonists a century ago.

Anglophone Cameroonians took to the streets late last year demanding equal treatment. Authorities responded by shooting dead at least six people, arresting hundreds and cutting off the region's Internet for three months.

The three political activists - Felix Agbor Balla, Fontem Aforteka'a Neba and Mancho Bibixy - pleaded not guilty in February to charges including complicity in hostility against the homeland, secession, civil war, and campaigning for federalism.

They are being held under anti-terrorism laws enacted as part of the battle against Islamist Boko Haram militants in the north.

"The defence request to allow the accused to be freed on bail has no basis," Judge Abega Mbezoa said at the hearing.

Rights groups have raised concerns about increasing repression under the 35-year-old rule of President Biya. Last month security forces prevented a news conference by Amnesty International that had been called to demand the release of three young men jailed in 2015 for sharing a joke.

At the end of World War One, the League of Nations divided the former German colony of Kamerun between the allied French and British victors. At independence in 1960, English-speaking voters opted to join Cameroon rather than neighbouring Nigeria, but they have since complained of being marginalised.

(Additional reporting by Joel Kouam in Douala; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Andrew Roche)

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line


subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.







Click here to see more newsletters

swissinfo EN

The following content is sourced from external partners. We cannot guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.

Join us on Facebook!

Reuters