January 3, 2024
Cited article by Human Rights Watch
HRRC condemns the unjust and violent treatment of the prominent rights lawyer by Cameroonian police. HRRC urges the prompt issuance of a public statement condemning such abuses and ensuring that assaults against lawyers are not tolerated.
Cameroonian human rights lawyer Atoh Walter M. Tchemi faced an unexpected assault by the police while attempting to meet a client in Kumba. The police, lacking an arrest warrant, confiscated the client's documents and demanded his presence at a local police station. Tchemi, seeking clarification, was subjected to a severe beating by the officers, resulting in damaged clothing and injuries. Despite Tchemi's initial reluctance to comply with a police commander's directive to go home, citing the sluggish pace of justice in Cameroon, he ultimately decided against pursuing legal action.
The organization documents arbitrary arrests, harassment, and both verbal and physical assaults against lawyers. The attack on Tchemi underscores the difficult environment for legal professionals, emphasizing the urgent need for a thorough, impartial investigation by authorities.