- The Cameroonian government has discredited the newly published Amnesty International report alleging the country has a bad record of human rights violations.
According to a communiqué published by the Vice Prime Minister, the government was shocked with the allegations which it said were baseless. "The government is angered by the report because it downplays country's efforts in protection of human rights," it said.
Amnesty International released a report last week, accusing the government of gross violations, torture and killings spanning more than ten years to silence the opposition and to halt protests.
The deputy Prime Minister said the country was ready to work with this international organisation stating that there have been great strides made in promoting and protecting human rights.
The statement said Amnesty International alleges that the Cameroon authorities refused its experts authorisation to enter into the country, while it argued that the intention was to get better justification and clarifications on the allegations made in the report.
"The promotion and protection of human right is one of the priorities of government action. In this regard, the government itself has been conducting a thorough assessment of its human rights promotion and protection mechanism for several years now," the statement read.
Cameroon has reportedly thoroughly examined the concerns mentioned in the Amnesty International's report and charted concrete proposals in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 reports.
"It is worth noting that the 2006 report was forwarded to Amnesty International which duly acknowledged receipt by letter dated 9th May 2008," it stated, further emphasisng that the impunity of workers charged with enforcing laws and protecting persons and property is being combated, as evidence in legal proceedings which result in sanctions published by the press.
Cameroon, which is expecting the Papal visit around March, has been ruled by President Paul Biya since 1982. In April 2008, the nation's parliament amended the constitution to allow President Biya to run for a third seven-year term in office.
The move unleashed protests, according to the report, that were brutally crushed by security forces. The next presidential vote in Cameroon is due in 2011.
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