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Cameroon's Government Welcomes Human Rights Research Mission

  • Ricci Shryock

Researchers for Amnesty International have wrapped up their first-ever official mission in Cameroon Friday. They said they hoped government authorities would keep their promise to work on human rights concerns within the country.

After 10 days in Cameroon, Amnesty International's Godfrey Byaruhanga said the researchers were pleased with the opportunity to meet prominent government officials and discuss the country's human rights situation.

"Many of the authorities that we have met have told us that they have the will to protect human rights but perhaps lack the resources and the expertise," said Byaruhanga.

Amnesty International researchers wrapped up their 10-day mission to the country on Friday. It was the first time Cameroon's government had officially allowed the human rights organization to conduct their work in the West African country.

Byaruhanga said that although talks with officials went well, there are still concerns that remain.

"We've got a lot of concerns," he said. "We're concerned about the situation in some cases of for example, people accused of being gay or lesbian being arrested detained and imprisoned for their sexual orientation. We have been concerned about the prison conditions, which in some cases are life threatening."

The London-based researcher added that another worry is the government's unwillingness on occasion to investigate allegations of extra-judiciary killings.

Human rights researchers are ready to study and analyze what they found during their first trip to Cameroon, and then Byaruhanga says they will seek a response to their concerns from the proper government authorities.