We pay homage to over 85 students of the University of Buea and several other innocent civilians on and off campus who on 28 November 2018 were tortured by state security officers (police and gendarmerie) as a result of a protest within the main university campus in Buea, South West Region (Cameroon).
The right to education was attacked the moment Dr Nalova Lyonga, then Vice Chancellor, ordered or acquiesced the deployment of at least or about a hundred anti-riot police and gendarmes within the campus to disband peaceful protesters.
On that day, at about 11am, students were chased from the university campus into the streets and were arrested, severely beaten in public and asked to roll in mud.
Following CHRDA’s fact-finding visits to the affected neighborhoods of Malingo tarred, Malingo untarred, Dirty South and UB Junction, we concluded that over 85 students were victims of one or more acts of torture, hundreds of students abandoned their hostels and dropped out of school that year and moved out of the university town for fear of repression; over 14 student hostels having about 140 rooms were all considerably vandalized and rendered uninhabitable by the state security officers who did not only destroy the doors of over 90% of these rooms but did not also hesitate to use tear gas into student rooms, forcing some to open their doors which enabled them loot personal items, brutalized their occupants in their bedrooms and in the streets regardless of their gender.
Soon after this event, about 40 to 60 students, both males and females, were arrested and detained for up to 3 days. Some students who were arrested were asked to pay exorbitant sums of money, usually 50,000 XAF before they were released from detention.
CHRDA reminds the government that this and several other events are the root causes of present-day crises.
CHRDA holds the government accountable for these crimes against university students and civilians which it has never addressed or demanded public excuse for.
CHRDA states that so long as the root causes of present-day crises are not addressed, the hopes for peace, justice and reconciliation to occur are minute.
CHRDA once more pays homage to all university students and civilians who have been tortured since 2016.
CHRDA demands the government to observe and enforce its national and international laws seeking protection of students and civilians and stand by human rights principles.