As UN Guterres and PGA Tijjani Bande Censor on Cameroon, Mancho Bibixy’s Detention Slammed By Working Group

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT NYP
UN GATE, Oct 1 –After Paul Biya who has ruled Cameroon for 37 years on January 28 had his opponent Maurice Kamto arrested, Inner City Press again asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and his spokesmen for their comment and action, if any. This came after Guterres had Inner City Press roughed up on 3 July 2018 after it interviewed Biya’s Ambassador about the two men’s Budget Committee deals and banned from the UN since – Guterres even tried to get Inner City Press banned from the Park East Synagogue, here, which was denied / dodged by his French spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who put up then took down a podcast in which he brags about his “mutually assured destruction” relationship with journalists, here.
Now as new UN President of the General Assembly Tijjani Muhammed-Bande of Nigeria joins in Guterres’ censorship, holding faux press conferences with Inner City Press banned and no questions on Cameroon and Nigeria’s illegal refoulment’s, this finding has been made by a Working Group not yet corrupted by Guterres:
“Mancho Bibixy Tse is a radio journalist, who broadcasted on Bamenda FM radio in Cameroon. He used his broadcasts to draw attention to the economic and social marginalization of the Anglophone minority in Cameroon, and the violations by the government of Cameroon of the constitutionally protected rights of that Anglophone minority. In January 2017, Mancho Bibixy Tse was arrested without warrant and detained in a maximum security prison in Yaounde. His arrest was the government’s response to his participation in a November 2016 peaceful protest and strike during which he publicly denounced the government of Cameroon for its treatment of the Anglophone minority while standing in a casket, in a public square in what has come to be known as the “Coffin Revolution”. During his pre trial detention, he was allowed only minimal contact with family and supporters. His health deteriorated, and he resorted to a hunger strike to protest the conditions of his imprisonment. His trial was delayed until May 2018. At the end of his trial before a military tribunal, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison, and levied a fine of 265 million Cameroon francs (about 408 thousand Euros). The alleged offences for which he was found guilty included acts of terrorism, advocacy of session, spreading false information , revolution, insurrection, sedition, destruction of public property, and failure to produce an identity card. The concerns set out in the letter written by LRWC included the circumstances of his arrest, the length and conditions of his pre-trial detention, trial before a military tribunal and sentencing for acts that were founded on his exercise of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly to protest. Based on LRWC’s letter, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) took up Mancho Bibixy’s case, and invited the Government of Cameroon to respond to the concerns expressed in that letter. The Government of Cameroon filed two voluminous responses, alleging among other things that : the investigation by the Working Group was premature because Mancho Bibixy Tse had not exhausted his domestic remedies (appeals), there was and is no Anglophone minority in Cameroon its actions in arresting and detaining Mancho Bibixy Tse were undertaken in a state of emergency necessary to protect civil society from insurrection and physical violence and therefore these actions did not have to comply with international human rights obligations the trial by a military tribunal was appropriate because the charges against Mancho Bibixy Tse arose from acts of terrorism. LRWC spent considerable time responding to the Government position. After a lengthy review, WGAD released an opinion letter on August 15 of this year. The opinion essentially accepts the legitimacy of the concerns set out in LRWC’s letter. It sets out WGAD’s determination that the deprivation of liberty of Mancho Bibixy Tse contravenes articles 8, 9, 10 and 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Articles 2, 3, 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and constitutes arbitrary detention. The opinion also directs the Government of Cameroon to take remedial action including: the immediate release of Mancho Bibixy Tse from prison providing him with the right to obtain reparations in accordance with international law holding an independent inquiry into the circumstances of his arbitrary detention and taking appropriate measures to hold accountable those who are deemed to be responsible for it using all methods at its disposal to publicize and disseminate the WGAD opinion. Providing an update to WGAD on the steps taken toward release, reparations and inquiry within six months, Providing a report to WGAD on any legislative and systemic changes that the Government may have undertaken or be considering to avoid similar circumstances – which any assistance that it many The opinion also states that WGAD is remitting the case to the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers to take whatever further steps that that office deems necessary or appropriate.” We’ll see – the UN human rights mechanisms, Messrs, David Kaye and even Forst, have not followed up on the UN’s censorship of press. We’ll have more on this.
UN favorite Voice of America has again written about ludicrous story about Cameroon, by Moki Edwin Kindzeka, in which Nigerians in Cameroon blame all their problems on “separatists.” There is no mention that Nigeria illegally sent Ayuk Tabe and others to Yaounde where they were given life sentences in a one hour proceeding, much less of the shameful silence and role of Guterres and his deputy Amina J. Mohammed. In fact, VOA at the UN has worked to get Inner City Press which asks about these outrageous ousted and banned, see most recently here, and watch this site. Inner City Press as of September 10 is being banned by Guterres and Melissa Fleming from covering the UN General Assembly, presided over by Nigeria’s ambassador Tijjani Muhammed-Bande. We’ll have more on this.