- Amnesty International stated that even though Boko Haram has been responsible for various atrocities, nothing could justify the callous and widespread practice of torture committed by the security forces against ordinary civilians
- Victims described horrific torture positions in which they were severely beaten while parts of their bodies were tied up and even suspended
- Cameroonian authorities refused to provide a response, even after receiving a letter from the human rights organisation
- Various high and mid-level officials have been identified as being a part of the horrific acts of torture
A new Amnesty International report has accused security forces of torturing hundreds of people in Cameroon accused of supporting Boko Haram, often without evidence.
The new report titled ‘Cameroon’s secret torture chambers: human rights violations and war crimes in the fight against Boko Haram’, is based on testimonies from several people, and was corroborated by photographic and video evidence, including satellite imagery.
Legit.ng notes that the report documents 101 cases at over 20 different sites, of incommunicado torture and detention between 2013 and 2017.
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Alioune Tine, Amnesty International’s regional director for West and Central Africa stated: “We have repeatedly and unequivocally condemned the atrocities and war crimes committed by Boko Haram in Cameroon.
“But, nothing could justify the callous and widespread practice of torture committed by the security forces against ordinary Cameroonians who are often arrested without any evidence and forced to endure unimaginable pain.
“These horrific violations amount to war crimes.
“Given the weight of the evidence we have uncovered, the authorities must initiate independent investigations into these practices of incommunicado detention and torture, including potential individual and command responsibility.”
The Cameroonian authorities refused to provide a response, even after receiving a letter from Amnesty International written in April 2017, in which the human rights organization shared its findings.
All requests for meetings were also refused.
In the harrowing report, victims described various torture methods - about 24 of them - which they were subjected to.
They described one method as ‘the goat’, in which they were beaten with their hands tied behind their backs.
In another torture position referred to as ‘the swing’, victims were beaten while suspended in the air with their limbs tied behind their backs.
One victim identified with a false name stated: “They asked me to tell them if I knew members of Boko Haram. That’s when the guard tied my hands and feet behind my back and started to beat me with an electric cable, while throwing water on me at the same time.
“They beat me half to death.”
Another victim stated: "The soldiers asked us to confess. They told us that if we did not confess, they would bring us to Yaoundé to kill us.
“We replied that we preferred to be killed rather than to confess something that we didn’t know about. They beat us like this for four days."
Amnesty International has identified a school in Cameroon which was used as a detention site.
Mid and high-level officials have also been identified as being a part of these horrific acts of torture.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Amnesty International released a video that purportedly showed pro-Biafra protesters being attacked by Nigerian soldiers.
The international organisation also released a statement accusing the Nigerian army of violation of human rights.
Watch this Legit.ng TV video of Nigerian Air Force operations against Boko Haram: