[JURIST] The Cameroon [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] government has participated in and encouraged unlawful executions, torture, and other human rights violations [press release] of political dissenters, according to an Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] report [text, PDF; abstract] released Thursday. The report alleges that such violations have been taking place for more than 10 years and may increase with the current global economic crisis and continued political unrest. According to the report, the actions by many governmental officials violate national law as well as the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) [text]. The report includes examples of unlawful detentions and executions, threats against free speech, harsh prison conditions, torture, and persecution. AI alleges that much of the violence stems from government suppression of political opposition and is largely aimed at journalists, politicians and human rights advocates. The report encourages foreign embassies in Cameroon to support the work of local advocates and journalists and also includes an appeal to the Cameroonian government:
to take all necessary political and legal measures, as well as to provide resources to promote and protect human rights, including by bringing an end to the widespread and persistent impunity enjoyed by the security forces and government officials.
Last year, protests broke out [AFP report] across Cameroon over rising fuel prices, increased living expenses, and a proposed modification of presidential term limits that would allow President Paul Biya [official profile] to continue his lengthy stay in office. Protesters were met with violent suppression by security forces that resulted in as many as 100 deaths, according to AI. In July, AI released a statement condemning the use of lethal force [text, PDF] by prison guards and other security officers in response to the killings of at least seventeen prisoners and the violent suppression of protesters.