Dear friends, a member of our community, Felix Agbor-Balla, has been arrested in Cameroon. On 17 January Felix was charged with a serious offense for exercising his rights to freedom of expression. His trial starts tomorrow (1 February) and he faces the death penalty if convicted. Please see more information below and [click here to sign the petition] (https://www.change.org/p/president-paul-biya-free-lawyer-felix-agbor-balla?recruiter=10488541&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink) calling on the Cameroonian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Felix and Fontem & share it widely with your networks. You can use the sharing link on this post to share on your social media.
Our colleague and friend, Felix, was arrested on 17 January 2017 and remains detained in Kondengui Central Prison in Yaoundé, Cameroon
On 17 January the Minister of Territorial Administration banned the activities of the Southern Cameroon National Council (SCNC) and the Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC). The president of the CACSC, Barrister Nkongho Felix Agbor-Balla, and its Secretary General, Dr. Fontem Aforteka’a Neba, were arrested, sparking protests in the southwest city of Buea. On the same day both Agbor-Balla and Dr. Fontem Neba had signed a statement calling for protest activities to be carried out without violence.
On 24 January Felix and Fontem were charged with terrorism, rebellion against the state, incitement of civil unrest and breach of the constitution. Their trial starts on 1 February 2017 and if convicted they face the death penalty.
The arrests have been denounced by several civil society organisations such as Amnesty International who have called for their immediate and unconditional release: https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2017/01/cameroon-arrests-and-civil-society-bans-risk-inflaming-tensions-in-english-speaking-regions/
Felix’s law school, Notre Dame, has also put out a statement: http://law.nd.edu/news/notre-dame-llm-alum-charged-with-treason-in-cameroon-2/
The African Union has further raised concern about the situation in Cameroon: https://www.au.int/web/en/pressreleases/20170118-0
Felix is a father of 2 daughters and recently lost his father. He will be unable to attend the funeral as he is detained. Felix is a lawyer who has worked for several years for the United Nations and also the Special Court for Sierra Leone. He is passionate about human rights in his country Cameroon and across Africa.
Please sign this petition calling on the Cameroonian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Felix and Fontem & share it widely with your networks.
@lottateale @sumaiya_islam @peterchapman @zsanettborsos @Line @ngwapatrick @ApollinKoagne @YaoundeDiffo @dunijeidoh @sammy @njikidjemi @ngwenyi @nanawilly @AJESH @HumanISRight @ndambamusa @FITCAM @acommonfuture @tawahplanchet @guyjuleskounga @emmanuelandaazie