International support for Felix Nkongho Agbor Balla. The president of the consortium prohibited by the authorities, is imprisoned for weeks at the central prison of Yaoundé. La Nouvelle Expression (LNE) on on March 8, 2017, reveals that Dutch lawyers recently wrote to Paul Biya to denounce this incarceration and the lawsuit brought against their colleague before the military tribunal.
“In an e-mail sent to Paul Biya, LNE was able to obtain a copy, Adrie Van Der Streek, General Manager of the Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L), called for the release of Felix Agbor Balla. The Dutch foundation writes: “Lawyers for Lawyers is concerned about the recent arrest of lawyer Nkongho Felix Agbor Balla, president of Cameroon’s Civil Society Consortium.”
L4L stated that “this arrest and detention took place as a result of demonstrations by lawyers and other members of civil society in northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon over the reform of the Law, demonstrations that the police have faced with excessive force and that Mr. Agbor Balla could be tried before a military court in accordance with Act No. 2014/028 of 23 December 2014 on the Suppression of Acts of Terrorism “.
The L4L opposes this state of affairs. “As stipulated in the Constitution of Cameroon, the government has a duty to respect and ensure respect for freedom of expression and association, as well as international human rights standards for lawyers.”
Further, Van Der Streek writes that “the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights dictates that” military courts can not under any circumstances try civilians “. The latter therefore rejects the competence of the Military Court in Cameroon to adjudicate cases concerning civilians.