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Cameroon: Attempted assassination of Paul Tchouta
Communiqué   modifié le 14-03-2022 10:02 par Tournons la Page

TLP-Cameroon, a citizen's movement for the popularization, promotion and defense of human rights and democratic values in Cameroon, has learned with the deepest consternation, the kidnapping, the savage aggression and the inhuman and degrading treatment of which the Cameroonian whistleblower Paul TCHOUTA was victim, during the night of March 9 to 10, 2022.

As a reminder, for several years, TLP-Cameroon has been raising the alarm on the resurgence of flagrant human rights violations in Cameroon and the founding values of democracy. Freedom of access to information, to good information and to information in real time is a right for all citizens in a state governed by the rule of law. The traditional audiovisual media which, over time and with the evolution of the means of communication, have shown their limitations, are no longer the only credible source of information for the Cameroonian people. TLP-Cameroon, as well as other civil society organizations, denounce that freedom of the press and the return to a multi-party system have been strongly threatened in Cameroon for nearly three decades. 

Hence the growing and irrefutable importance of social networks which have become, especially in the last ten years, the framework by excellence for denouncing the excesses of a regime that is strongly reluctant to the advent of true democracy, to real transparency in the management of state assets, and to the accountability of officials to the people. Whistleblowers such as Paul TCHOUTA embody this informational renewal that carries the voice of the voiceless, the oppressed, the victims of human rights violations, and the idle on a global scale. We have also seen how effectively he has been able to relay the message of the Teachers united in the "OTS" (“On a Trop Supporté”or “We've put up with too much”) Movement, to whom TLP-Cameroon also gives its full support and its most sincere militant encouragement.

It is obvious that this is, once again, an attempt to muzzle this compatriot who has made the bold choice to report on social abuses and injustices in our country and who has already served years in prison in violation of all the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure on the presumption of innocence which establish that freedom is the norm and detention the exception.

TLP-Cameroon denounces with the utmost energy these ignominious maneuvers of intimidation and attempts to muzzle a whistleblower whose work undoubtedly contributes to the awakening of citizens' consciences in Cameroon, as well as the increase in systematic repression that is now unrestrained on human rights defenders and actors of freedom of expression and information.

TLP-Cameroon calls on the Cameroonian authorities to assume their responsibilities more than ever in the face of contemporary challenges and to offer citizens the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law.

TLP-Cameroon demands that an investigation is to be urgently and methodically carried out by the competent public services, in order to shed light on this affair which, far from blunting the commitment, determination and dedication of Cameroonian Civil Society Actors, rather contributes, unfortunately, to tarnishing the image of Cameroon, while confirming the control of the State apparatus by radicals only concerned with preserving their social positions and the resulting prebends.

TLP-Cameroon reiterates the indissociable character of the construction of a State governed by the rule of law, of a democratic State and of the respect by the public authorities of the fundamental freedoms which have for base the Civil and Political Rights.

TLP-Cameroon reminds the public authorities of the commitments made by Cameroon through the ratification of various international legal instruments for the respect of human rights.

Furthermore, face to this disturbing situation - which resembles a real instrumentalization of targeted violence for the purpose of settling political scores :

  • TLP-Cameroon expresses its deepest concern as to the sincerity of the Cameroonian authorities who, however, and so often in their countless speeches, do not cease to proclaim their willingness to give Cameroon the best chances to be part of the modern and democratic nations in which the populations are the main priority of the public authorities.

  • TLP-Cameroon protests against the strong tendency observed since the last presidential election to a novice and dangerous tendency to restrict civic space, particularly the prohibition of all public demonstrations in violation of the declaration regime in force and the recognized freedom of expression, to all the media and activists who not only have taken as their editorial line the denunciation of all abuses of authority and attacks on democracy, but above all, have committed themselves to carry the voice of all victims.

TLP-Cameroon condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack on Paul TCHOUTA, which reveals the level of decay of the security apparatus and the consideration of certain people for human life in Cameroon.

For the National Coalition, the National Coordinator

Jean-Marc BIKOKO