Cameroon - Security Grant to cover legal expences of Jean Mark Bikoko and 6 other jailed trade unionists

On 11 November 2010, seven trade union members were interrogated and held in police custody following a public demonstration organised by the Centrale Syndicale du Secteur Public (CSP) in front of the office of the Prime Minister in Yaoundé.

The seven individuals arrested are Messrs Jean-Marc Bikoko, President of CSP, Maurice Angelo Phouet Foe, Secretary-General of the Syndicat National Autonome de l'Education et la Formation (SNAEF), Tobie Mbassi Ondoa, Executive Secretary of the Fédération Camerounaise des Syndicats de l’Education (FECASE), Joseph Ze, Secretary-General of the Syndicat National Unitaire des Instituteurs et Professeurs des Écoles Normales (SNUIPEN), Eric Nla'a, accountant at CSP, Nkili Effoua and Claude Charles Felein of SNUIPEN.

On 11 November, CSP organised a peaceful sit-in from 10:00am to 12:00pm in front of the office of the Prime Minister. The trade unionists intended to deliver to the Prime Minister Philémon Yang a memorandum on public sector employees for the attention of the President of the Republic Paul Biya.

The seven trade unionists mentioned above were immediately arrested by officers of the Central police station no 1 in Yaoundé and interrogated in the absence of their lawyers.

A CSP lawyer arrived at the police station in the afternoon but was not permitted to meet them. The seven human rights defenders were held in custody from 12.30pm until 8:00am the following day, 12 November. They were transferred to the Office of the Prosecutor of the High Court of Mfoundi/Yaounde where they were further detained for 12 hours in a cell with approximately 50 other prisoners.

The Prosecutor ordered their release at 8.30pm on condition that they appear at the Court of First Instance on 15 November.

Given the deteriorating situation of the men Front Line prioced a security grant to cover their legal expences.

Cost - €6,000

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