There is urgent need for the Cameroon Government to address the issue of COVID-19 in Prisons, Barrister Agbor Nkongho says.
While the government has taken some measures – including the reduction of jail time for some inmates, which eventually led to some releases – many others remain in detention amid the coronavirus outbreak, awaiting trial or, in some cases, haven’t finished serving their sentences.
Prominent Human rights Lawyer Agbor Nkongho says “many of the detainees in Kondengui Central Prison in particular are suffering from the disease.”
“One of the detainees; Pastor Fritz Tarkang is hospitalized at Hôpital Presbytérienne Djoungolo,” the human rights lawyer said in a tweet.
Pastor Fritz Tarkang was arrested, January 7, 2019 by Cameroonian security forces between the Nigerian and Cameroonian border towns of Ikom and Ekok.
Cameroon’s President Paul Biya mid – April announced the release of some prisoners in order to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in overcrowded jails.
The decree did not include English speaking detainees and suspected Anglophone separatists remanded as part of the ongoing crisis in the North-West and South-West regions.
The decree equally excluded inmates convicted for embezzlement, corruption, or terrorism.
Some prisoners have already been released nationwide.
On April 14 some newspapers reported that 3 inmates died of the coronavirus at the Kondengui Central prison in Yaoundé, political capital of Cameroon.