Amnesty report alleges Cameroon security forces tortured Boko Haram suspects
A new report from Amnesty International has claimed that suspected Boko Haram fighters are being tortured to death by security forces in Cameroon.
The human rights organisation has announced that the report, named ‘Cameroon’s secret torture chambers: human rights violations and war crimes in the fight against Boko Haram’, is supported by satellite imagery, photographic and video evidence.
Figures released by the report show that 101 people were detained secretly and tortured between 2013 and 2017.
Amnesty International West and Central Africa regional director Alioune Tine said: “We have repeatedly and unequivocally condemned the atrocities and war crimes committed by Boko Haram in Cameroon. But, nothing could justify the callous and widespread practice of torture committed by the security forces against ordinary Cameroonians, who are often arrested without any evidence and forced to endure unimaginable pain.
“These horrific violations amount to war crimes. Given the weight of the evidence we have uncovered, the authorities must initiate independent investigations into these practices of incommunicado detention and torture, including potential individual and command responsibility.”
The detainees were allegedly subjected to severe beatings and drownings at more than 20 different sites, including four military bases, two facilities run by intelligence services, a private residence and a school.
The majority of victims were tortured in two unofficial detention sites, including the headquarters of the Rapid Intervention Batallion (BIR) in Salak, near the northern city of Maroua, and a facility in the capital, Yaoundé run by the General Directorate of External Research (DGRE).
The victims said they were subjected to at least 24 torture methods.
Since 2014, Boko Haram has killed more than 1,500 civilians in Cameroon and abducted many others.