Africa

Cameroon: Video emerges of detainees in squalid cell

Protests in Cameroon
Image caption There were protests against the use of French in Bamenda in 2016

A shocking video has emerged in Cameroon of a dozen detainees being held in a dark cell.

The footage shows the detainees, all from English speaking regions, in squalid conditions.

Opposition politician Asaah Patrick Ndangoh is blaming the government and says the conditions are "comparable to concentration death camps".

When asked to comment on the video allegations the communications minister told the BBC that he had not seen it.

The detainees are believed to have gone on hunger strike to protest against their degrading treatment.

In recent months there have been increased tensions in the English-speaking regions of the country following protests and strikes against marginalisation by the majority Francophone government.

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Image caption Asaah Patrick Ndangoh speaking in the video that has emerged

Mr Ndangoh, a former deputy mayor for the opposition Social Democratic Front (SDF) party, says in the video that the captives were abducted six months ago and have been held at various hidden cells in appalling conditions.

It is not known what the individuals are being charged with.

But Mr Ndangoh was accused by police in July of helping a radical Anglophone member of parliament to escape.

Mr Ndangoh goes on to say that they are currently being held in a bunker at the "gendarmerie [military police] headquarters ," in the capital Yaounde.

"If dying is the price we must pay to guarantee our freedom and re-establish the independence of our country, then it is a price worth paying." he says.

Image caption North-West and South-West are Cameroon's two English-speaking regions

Dozens of other Anglophones arrested in a similar manner now face the death penalty for terrorism and endangering the security of the state.

Parents of some of those detained told the BBC's Randy Joe Sa'ah that they did not know where their sons had disappeared to until they saw the video.

John Fru Ndi the leader of the SDF has strongly condemned the way in which Anglophones are being arrested and, "locked up under inhumane conditions".

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