Friday, April 11, 2008

State terror in Cameroon

I'll have something on Zimbabwe soon, which makes me more competent than the country's electoral commission. But Radio Netherlands' excellent The State We're In program did a chilling report on Mugabe-style state terrorism in Cameroon. The international media did some report on the food riots that gripped Cameroon last month, but little follow up was done.

RNW's premier journalist Eric Beauchemin did some investigation and found that a lot more happened than just 'ordinary' clashes between protesters and police. Over 100 people were killed by police, according to local human rights' organizations. There were mass arbitrary arrests. And disgustingly, the police wouldn't even release the corpses to the victims' families without large bribes. While one might attribute that to daily life in one of the most corrupt countries in Africa, human rights groups say the real motive is to hide the scale of the slaughter. The report stated that police are touching up some corpses to hide bullet wounds.

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