Eight charges weigh on Maurice Kamto opposition leader

Eight charges weigh on the leader of the Cameroonian opposition, arrested on Monday evening of 28th January, following the marches organized by his political party.

Professor Maurice Kamto is held in the Special Operational Group (SOG). He was heard on Wednesday by investigators of this elite unit of the Cameroonian police. The president of the Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (MRC) has for the first time met his lawyers and his family since his arrest on Monday.

Mr. Kamto, who according to his lawyers is doing well with high morale has disassociated himself from the anger that led to the sacking of some diplomatic representations of Cameroon abroad.

Mr. Sylvain Souop indicates that his client “assumes the peaceful marches” of his political party “which took place in Cameroon”. “Professor Kamto denounces this vandalism of Cameroonian diplomatic representations abroad because he never sent anyone to break anything outside of Cameroon,” said the lawyer.

Police tried to interrogate Mr. Kamto on Tuesday, which he refused, insisting that his lawyers be present during the exchange with the investigators; what was finally possible on Wednesday.

After his interrogation, eight charges weigh on the leader of the MRC including that of assembly, rebellion in group, hostility against the fatherland, insurrection, incitement to insurrection, criminal association and complicity.

These eight charges also weigh on the 200 other detainees who remain behind bars since the “white march” of the MRC repressed on January 26th. The detention of Maurice Kamto may be extended until Friday (1 February), when he will be brought before a judge to be charged or acquitted and released.

According to the defence lawyers’ panel, Mr. Kamto is the victim of arrest and unlawful political detention.

On January 26, more than a hundred people were arrested in Yaoundé, Bafoussam, Douala and Mbouda during demonstrations banned by the regime. Among them, Paul-Eric Kingue, the former campaign manager of Maurice Kamto, and the famous pro-Kamto rapper, Valsero. Six people were injured, according to the MRC, including activist Celestin Djamen, arrested despite his injuries, and the lawyer Michelle Ndoki.

The political party speaks of a repression with live ammunition which the Cameroonian government refutes. “No live ammunition has been fired,” Minister of Communications René Emmanuel Sadi assured during a press conference.

The Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (MRC) announces a new peaceful march this Saturday, February 2nd. Other opposition parties could join the movement.

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