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Il presidente del Camerun Paul Biya
Cameroon President Paul Biya
CAMEROON: PRESIDENT ORDERS DE-CROWDING OF PRISONS TO COMBAT COVID-19

April 19, 2020:

Cameroon's president has announced steps that will lead to the release of thousands of prisoners due to concerns about the coronavirus spreading in overcrowded facilities, VOA News reported on 16 April 2020.
According to estimates, at least 10,000 prisoners can be released, a third of those held in correctional facilities built for just 9,000 inmates.
However, separatists fighting for an independent English-speaking state and officials jailed for corruption are excluded. Rights groups also note that Biya's political opponents and journalists critical of his rule will remain behind bars.
Since 15 April, Cameroon state radio has read out an order signed by President Paul Biya to decrease crowding in the central African state’s 78 prisons.
"The president of the republic hereby decrees as follows. Article 1. Persons whose sentences have become final as at the date of signature of this decree shall benefit from remissions as follows. One. Commutation of the death sentence to life imprisonment in favor of persons initially sentenced to death."
Under the presidential decision, life sentences are reduced to 25 years, those for whom life sentences had already been reduced to 25 years will have five years taken off their sentences. Ten-year sentences will be cut by three years, five-year sentences will be cut by two years, and three-year sentences will be cut by one year.
Lawyer Luc Kisob who argues the government’s position in corruption and terrorism cases, said not everyone will benefit from the initiative, although Biya has the constitutional power to free whoever he wants.
"The constitution authorizes the head of state to commute and to remit sentences of convicts. The prerogative rests therefore on the head of state to choose who to pardon or who not to pardon, and in this case certain kinds of offenses have been excluded from those who shall benefit from the measure, like offenses of terrorism, misappropriation of public property, tax fraud, customs fraud, sexual offenses or offenses which touch on the security of the state," said the lawyer.
Others excluded from the order are political prisoners such as Mamadou Mota, vice president of the opposition Cameroon Renaissance Movement Party, who was arrested while protesting the results of the October 2018 presidential election, and separatists fighting for the independence of the English-speaking minority in the majority French-speaking country.
Rights activist Njugoy Ardo of the Cameroon Center for Democracy and Governance said by messaging app that the 86-year-old Biya has missed an opportunity to make peace with his people.
He said Biya, by not pardoning political prisoners and separatist leaders who realize the coronavirus is bringing people together against a common enemy in COVID-19, has missed an opportunity to reconcile with the people he has ruled with an iron fist for close to 40 years. He said Biya still can make history by ordering the release of people he has declared his enemies just because they do not agree with him remaining in power.
Others who will not benefit from the order are Biya’s former prime minister Ephraim Inoni, ex-minister of finance Abah Abah Polycarp, and Jean Mariie Atangana Mebara, a former minister of higher education.
Some have been jailed for more than a decade. Biya ordered their arrest saying that they plundered state resources, but their lawyers say they are being punished because they advised Biya to step down as president.
The presidential decree does not specify how many people will benefit from the order. The Justice Ministry is now examining prisoners’ files.
However, Ardo and Kisob said at least 10,000 prisoners may be freed. Cameroon currently has 30,000 prisoners in detention facilities constructed for barely 9,000.

(Sources: voanews.com, 16/04/2020)

CHAD: PARLIAMENT OUTLAWS DEATH PENALTY FOR ACTS OF TERROR
SOMALIA: AL-SHABAAB EXECUTES THREE IN HIRAN REGION
SAUDI ARABIA: EGYPTIAN ENGINEER ON DEATH ROW EXONERATED
SIERRA LEONE: 5 MOB CLIQUE MEMBERS SENTENCED TO DEATH
IRAN: THREE PRISONERS EXECUTED FOR MURDER CHARGES
APPEAL OF HANDS OFF CAIN TO PROTECT THE TURKISH LAWYERS EBRU TIMTIK AND AYTAC UYSAL, AND FOR THE END AF ALL-OUT HUNGER STRIKE
SAUDI ARABIA: ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY FOR MINORS COVERS TERROR CONVICTS
TEXAS (USA): GILMAR GUEVARA SPARED EXECUTION BECAUSE HE IS INTELLECTUALLY DISABLED
INDONESIA: BINTAN DISTRICT COURT HANDS DEATH SENTENCE TO THREE DRUG SMUGGLERS
BAHRAIN: THREE BANGLADESHIS LOSE APPEAL AGAINST CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
USA: DOCTORS ASK DEATH PENALTY STATES TO GIVE UP EXECUTION DRUGS FOR COVID-19 PATIENTS
SAUDI ARABIA ENDS EXECUTIONS FOR CRIMES COMMITTED BY MINORS
THE BAHAMAS: PRIVY COUNCIL OVERTURNS MURDER CONVICTION OF UNREPRESENTED MAN WHO FACED THE DEATH PENALTY
INDIA: DEATH SENTENCE FOR KIDNAPPING, MURDER OF MINOR COMMUTED
IRAN: 10 PRISONERS QUICKLY HANGED BEFORE RAMADAN
SAUDI ARABIA ABOLISHES FLOGGING AS PUNISHMENT
CHINA: MANHOLE COVER THIEVES 'MAY GET DEATH SENTENCES'
SINGAPORE: MAN ESCAPES GALLOWS AFTER BEING CLEARED OF DRUG TRAFFICKING CHARGE BY COURT OF APPEAL
IRAN: POSSIBLE JUVENILE OFFENDER HANGED FOR MURDER
IRAN: JUVENILE OFFENDER SHAYAN SAEEDPOUR EXECUTED
JUSTICE: HANDS OFF CAIN, RIGHT TO HEALTH IS VALID FOR ALL EVEN 41 BIS
AMNESTY: SAUDI ARABIA EXECUTED RECORD NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN 2019 AMID DECLINE IN GLOBAL EXECUTIONS
TAIWAN: COALITION PETITIONS PRESIDENT TO PARDON DEATH ROW INMATE TORTURED INTO CONFESSION
MOROCCO: HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT RECOMMENDS ABOLISHING DEATH PENALTY
PRISON. APPEAL OF 54 PERSONALITIES FROM 14 COUNTRIES TO THE EU FOR AN AMNESTY FACING COVID-19
PAKISTAN: SINDH HIGH COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCE OF FORMER MITHI JUDGE
IRAN: MAN HANGED AT HAMADAN PRISON FOR MURDER CHARGES
INDONESIA: TWO DRUG COURIERS IN SOUTH SUMATRA SENTENCED TO DEATH
MYANMAR: MORE THAN 24,000 PRISONERS PARDONED IN AMNESTY
PRISON: CONVOCATION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF HANDS OFF CAIN-SPES CONTRA SPEM

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