In a trial described by Amnesty International as being unfair and deeply flawed, a military court in Cameroon has sentenced an opposition politician and critic of President Paul Biya to 25 years in prison.
Aboubakary Siddiki is expected to serve 25 years behind bars after the court in Yaounde found him guilty of charges including hostility against the homeland, revolution and contempt for the President.
Siddiki, who is the president of Movement Patriotique du Salut Camerounias – the main opposition party in northern Cameroon was arrested in August 2014 alongside one Abdoulaye Harrisou who was also jailed three years for ‘non-denunciation.’
“Aboubakary Siddiki is the latest victim of the Cameroonian authorities’ apparent attempts to strangle opposition voices. Alongside Abdoulaye Harrision, he has already spent more than three years in detention, suffered torture and now he must face a future behind bars on the basis of a politically motivated and deeply flawed trial,” Ilaria Allegrozzi, Amnesty International’s Lake Chad Researcher said in a statement.
“The trial was marred by multiple irregularities including witnesses refusing to testify because of intimidation, the admission of evidence extracted under torture and the failure to disclose relevant documents to the defense lawyers,” the statement added.
Cameroon is currently plagued by political and security crisis in the English – speaking North – West and South – West regions where citizens have been agitating to secede from the country and form Ambazonia Republic.