Death Penalty Database

Cameroon

Information current as of: March 27, 2012

General

Official Country Name

Republic of Cameroon (Cameroon). [1]

Geographical Region

Africa (Middle Africa). [2]

Death Penalty Law Status

Abolitionist de facto. [3]

Methods of Execution

Hanging. [4]

Shooting.
(firing squad). [5]

References

[1] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/26431.htm, Jan. 1, 2012.
[2] U.N., Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings, http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm, Sep. 20, 2011.
[3] Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012. GeED et al., Cameroon: NGO report on the implementation of the ICCPR (Replies to the List of Issues CCPR/C/CMR/Q4), p. 17, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/GeED_Cameroon_HRC99.pdf, Jun. 2010.
[4] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 23, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004-2005.
[5] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 23, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004-2005.

Country Details

Language(s)

French and English. [1]

Population

20,424,645. (2011 est.). [2]

Number of Individuals Currently Under Sentence of Death

Amnesty International estimates that there are at least 77 prisoners on death row, [3] although the government has released no clear figure. [4] At least one person was sentenced to death in 2010, [5] and at least one other in 2011. [6]

Annual Number of Reported Executions

Executions in 2017 to date (last updated on December 6, 2017)

0. [7]

Executions in 2016

0. [8]

Per capita execution rate in 2016

Executions in 2015

0. [9]

Per capita execution rate in 2015

0 executions.

Executions in 2014

0. [10]

Per capita execution rate in 2014

0 executions

Executions in 2013

0. [11]

Per capita execution rate in 2013

0 executions

Executions in 2012

0. [12]

Per capita execution rate in 2012

0 executions

Executions in 2011

0. [13]

Per capita execution rate in 2011

0 executions

Executions in 2010

0. [14]

Executions in 2009

0. [15]

Executions in 2008

0. [16]

Executions in 2007

0. [17]

Year of Last Known Execution

1997. [18]

References

[1] Constitution of the Republic of Cameroon, art. 1 (3), Law No. 96-06, dated Jan. 18, 1996, amending the Constitution of Jun. 2, 1972 & Law No. 2008/001, dated Apr. 14, 2008, modifying and completing certain provisions of Law No. 96-06. U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/26431.htm, Jan. 1, 2012.
[2] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/26431.htm, Jan. 1, 2012.
[3] Amnesty Intl., Annual Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[4] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[5] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, ACT 50/001/2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2011/en, Mar. 28, 2011.
[6] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, pp. 46-47, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[7] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[8] Amnesty International, Death sentences and executions in 2016, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[9] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[10] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014.
[12] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, ACT 50/001/2012, Apr. 9, 2013.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[14] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 22, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[16] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 18, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009.
[17] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, pp. 7-8, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2008.
[18] Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012. GeED et al., Cameroon: NGO report on the implementation of the ICCPR (Replies to the List of Issues CCPR/C/CMR/Q4), p. 17, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/GeED_Cameroon_HRC99.pdf, Jun. 2010.

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
Murder committed by poisoning [1] or in order to further an offence, [2] murder of a child 15 years old or younger, [3] and murder of ascendants [4] are punishable by death.

Murder.
Premeditated murder [5] is punishable by death.

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Theft committed with violence and leading to death, [6] and abduction of a minor younger than 21 years old resulting in the death of that minor [7] are punishable by death.

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
Terrorist acts occurring in a plane or airport and resulting in death [8] are punishable by death

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
Theft committed with violence, causing grievous bodily harm, is punishable by death. [9]

Treason. [10]

Espionage. [11]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
-Assault on a state employee with intent to kill; [12]
-Attempt of a death-eligible crime and conspiracy to commit a death-eligible crime; [13]
-Plundering by gangs using force during times of war. [14]

Comments.
By the end of our research, we were unable to locate the statutes applicable to criminal military justice.

While we do not know how many (if any) of these crimes are death-eligible, reports indicate that “[military] tribunals may exercise jurisdiction over civilians when the president declares martial law and in cases involving civil unrest or organized armed violence. Military tribunals also have jurisdiction over gang crimes, banditry, and highway robbery. The government has interpreted these guidelines broadly and sometimes has used military courts to try matters concerning dissident groups who used firearms.” [15]

Does the country have a mandatory death penalty?

No. Under Articles 90 and 91 of the Penal Code, the death penalty can be commuted to 10 years’ imprisonment if the court finds mitigating circumstances, except when the acceptance of mitigating circumstances is expressly excluded by law. [16] We found no statutory language excluding Articles 90 and 91 for any death-eligible offense.

The Supreme Court held on Jan. 9, 1975 that Article 320 excluded the application of Article 90 for aggravated theft; [17] however, in the 2004 version of the Penal Code, Article 320 did not expressly exclude the application of Article 90. We were not able to find the wording of Article 320 at the time of the 1975 decision, but because articles in other laws (including a now-abrogated death penalty offense) do expressly exclude Article 90, [18] and because Articles 90 and 91 refer to a statutory exclusion, we believe that the death penalty is no longer mandatory for aggravated theft.

For Which Offenses, If Any, Is a Mandatory Death Sentence Imposed?

Cameroon has no mandatory death penalty. Under Articles 90 and 91 of the Penal Code, the death penalty can be commuted to 10 years’ imprisonment if the court finds mitigating circumstances, except when the acceptance of mitigating circumstances is expressly excluded by law. [19] We found no statutory language excluding Articles 90 and 91 for any death-eligible offense.

The Supreme Court held on Jan. 9, 1975 that Article 320 excluded the application of Article 90 for aggravated theft; [20] however, in the 2004 version of the Penal Code, Article 320 did not expressly exclude the application of Article 90. We were not able to find the wording of Article 320 at the time of the 1975 decision, but because articles in other laws (including a now-abrogated death penalty offense) do expressly exclude Article 90, [21] and because Articles 90 and 91 refer to a statutory exclusion, we believe that the death penalty is no longer mandatory for aggravated theft.

Crimes For Which Individuals Have Been Executed Since January 2008:

No individual has been executed since 1997. [22]

Categories of Offenders Excluded From the Death Penalty:

Individuals Below Age 18 At Time of Crime.
Under Articles 80 and 87 of the Penal Code, the maximum punishment for children older than 14 and younger than 18 is 2 to 10 years’ imprisonment. [23] Cameroon is party to the ICCPR [24] and to the Convention on the Rights of the Child [25] which prohibit the execution of individuals for crimes committed when under the age of 18.

Pregnant Women.
Under Section 22(3) of the Penal Code, a pregnant woman can be executed only after she has given birth to her child. [26] Additionally, Cameroon is party to the ICCPR, [27] which prohibits the execution of pregnant women.

Women With Small Children.
Cameroon is party to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [28] which prohibits the imposition of a death sentence on mothers of infants and young children. [29]

Intellectually Disabled.
Article 44 of the Penal Code provides that a “mentally disabled” person sentenced to at least 2 years’ imprisonment may instead be confined in a mental health institution for a maximum of 5 years. [30] The provision does not specify whether this alternative is available to death-sentenced persons.

Under section 371 of the Criminal Procedure Code, “if it appears to the court that the accused is of unsound mind, it shall, by an interlocutory decision, order an expert to produce a medical report and shall adjourn the hearing to a later date. […] If it is found that the accused is of unsound mind, the court shall order his confinement in a health institution and stay the proceedings. […].” [31]

Mentally Ill.
Under Article 78 of the Penal Code, no criminal responsibility can attach to an accused who is affected by a mental illness which renders his acts involuntary or prevents him from discerning the reprehensible character of his actions. [32] If the accused’s insanity is “not total”, the death penalty will be commuted to 2 to 10 years’ imprisonment. [33]

Under section 371 of the Criminal Procedure Code, “if it appears to the court that the accused is of unsound mind, it shall, by an interlocutory decision, order an expert to produce a medical report and shall adjourn the hearing to a later date. […] If it is found that the accused is of unsound mind, the court shall order his confinement in a health institution and stay the proceedings. […].” [34]

References

[1] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 276(1)(b), Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[2] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 276(1)(c), Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[3] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 350 in conjunction with art. 275, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[4] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 351 in conjunction with art. 275 , Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[5] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 276(1)(a), Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[6] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 320(2), Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[7] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 354 in conjunction with arts. 352-353, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[8] Law on the Punishment of Offenses Against Civil Aviation (Loi portant répression des infractions et actes dirigés contre la sécurité de l’aviation civile), art. 10 in conjunction with arts. 3-4, Law No. 2001/019, Dec. 19, 2001.
[9] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 320(2), Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[10] Penal Code of Cameroon, arts. 102, 103, 111, 112, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[11] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 103, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[12] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 156(5), Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[13] Penal Code of Cameroon, arts. 94-95, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[14] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 236, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[15] GeED et al., Cameroon: NGO report on the implementation of the ICCPR (Replies to the List of Issues CCPR/C/CMR/Q4), pp. 25-26, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/GeED_Cameroon_HRC99.pdf, Jun. 2010.
[16] Penal Code of Cameroon, arts. 90-91, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[17] Decision 117/P of the Supreme Court of Cameroon, Jan. 9, 1975, mentioned in the commentary to art. 320 of the Penal Code of Cameroon, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[18] Law on Toxic and Dangerous Waste (Loi portant sur les déchets toxiques et dangereux), art. 4, Law No. 89/27 dated Dec. 29, 1989, as amended by Law No. 96-12 dated Aug. 5, 1996.
[19] Penal Code of Cameroon, arts. 90-91, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended until Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[20] Decision 117/P of the Supreme Court of Cameroon, Jan. 9, 1975, mentioned under art. 320 of the Penal Code of Cameroon, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended until Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[21] Loi portant sur les déchets toxiques et dangereux, art. 4, Law No. 89/27 dated Dec. 29, 1989, as amended by Law No. 96-12 dated Aug. 5, 1996.
[22] Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012. GeED et al., Cameroon: NGO report on the implementation of the ICCPR (Replies to the List of Issues CCPR/C/CMR/Q4), p. 17, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/GeED_Cameroon_HRC99.pdf, Jun. 2010.
[23] Penal Code of Cameroon, arts. 80, 87, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[24] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[25] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3, Nov. 20, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=UNTSONLINE&tabid=2&mtdsg_no=IV-11&chapter=4&lang=en#Participants, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[26] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 22(3), Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[27] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[28] African Union, Signatories, Accessions, and Ratifications, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/96Welfare_of_the_Child.pdf, Jan. 27, 2011O.A.U, List of Countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to The African Charter On The Rights And Welfare Of The Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/List/African%20Charter%20on%20the%20Rights%20and%20Welfare%20of%20the%20Child.pdf, Mar. 1, 2010.
[29] O.U.A, African Charter On The Rights And Welfare Of The Child, art. 30(e), O.A.U. Doc. CAB/LEG/24.9/49, Jul. 11, 1990.
[30] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 44, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[31] Criminal Procedure Code of Cameroon, sec. 371, Law No. 2005/007, Jul. 27, 2005.
[32] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 78, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[33] Penal Code of Cameroon, arts. 78, 87, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[34] Criminal Procedure Code of Cameroon, sec. 371, Law No. 2005/007, Jul. 27, 2005.

International Commitments

ICCPR

Party?

Yes. [1]

Date of Accession

Jun. 27, 1984. [2]

Signed?

No. [3]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Recognizing Jurisdiction of the Human Rights Committee

Party?

Yes. [4]

Date of Accession

Jun. 27, 1984. [5]

Signed?

No. [6]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Toward the Abolition of the Death Penalty

Party?

No. [7]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [8]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

American Convention on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Death Penalty Protocol to the ACHR

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR)

Party?

Yes. [9]

Date of Accession

Jun. 20, 1989. [10]

Signed?

Yes. [11]

Date of Signature

Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa

Party?

No. [12]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

Yes. [13]

Date of Signature

Jul. 25, 2006. [14]

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Party?

Yes. [15]

Date of Accession

Sep. 5, 1997. [16]

Signed?

Yes. [17]

Date of Signature

Sep. 16, 1992. [18]

Arab Charter on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

2016 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [19]

Vote

Abstained. [20]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [21]

2014 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [22]

Vote

Abstained. [23]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [24]

2012 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [25]

Vote

Abstained. [26]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [27]

2010 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [28]

Vote

Abstained. [29]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [30]

2008 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [31]

Vote

Abstained. [32]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [33]

2007 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [34]

Vote

Abstained. [35]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [36]

References

[1] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[2] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012
[3] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[4] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[5] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[6] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[7] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[8] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[9] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, Doc. 0002, http://au.int/en/sites/default/files/African_Charter_on_Human_and_Peoples_Rights.pdf, Aug. 2, 2011.
[10] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, Doc. 0002, http://au.int/en/sites/default/files/African_Charter_on_Human_and_Peoples_Rights.pdf, Aug. 2, 2011.
[11] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, Doc. 0002, http://au.int/en/sites/default/files/African_Charter_on_Human_and_Peoples_Rights.pdf, Aug. 2, 2011.
[12] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/999Rights_of_Women.pdf, Feb. 14, 2011.
[13] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/999Rights_of_Women.pdf, Feb. 14, 2011.
[14] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/999Rights_of_Women.pdf, Feb. 14, 2011.
[15] African Union, Signatories, Accessions, and Ratifications, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/96Welfare_of_the_Child.pdf, Jan. 27, 2011.
[16] African Union, Signatories, Accessions, and Ratifications, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/96Welfare_of_the_Child.pdf, Jan. 27, 2011.
[17] African Union, Signatories, Accessions, and Ratifications, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/96Welfare_of_the_Child.pdf, Jan. 27, 2011.
[18] African Union, Signatories, Accessions, and Ratifications, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/96Welfare_of_the_Child.pdf, Jan. 27, 2011.
[19] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54-71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016.
[20] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54-71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016.
[21] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Note Verbale dated 7 September 2017, U.N. Doc. A/71/1047, Sep. 13, 2017.
[22] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 141, 144, U.N. Doc. A/69/488/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2014.
[23] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, 73rd Plenary Meeting, pp. 17-18, U.N. Doc. A/69/PV.73, Dec. 18, 2014.
[24] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Note Verbale dated 28 July 2015, U.N. Doc. A/69/993, Jul. 29, 2015.
[25] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 95-96, U.N. Doc. A/67/457/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2012.
[26] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012.
[27] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Note Verbale dated 16 April 2013, U.N. Doc. A/67/841, Apr. 23, 2013.
[28] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, includng alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, p. 5, U.N. Doc. A/65/456/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2010.
[29] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010.
[30] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Note Verbale dated 11 March 2011, U.N. Doc. A/65/779, Mar. 11, 2011.
[31] U.N.G.A., 63rd session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/63/430/Add.2, Dec. 4, 2008.
[32] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008.
[33] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Note Verbale dated 10 February 2009, U.N. Doc. A/63/716, Feb. 12, 2009.
[34] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/62/439/Add.2, Dec. 5, 2007.
[35] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007.
[36] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Note Verbale dated 11 January 2008, U.N. Doc. A/62/658, Feb. 2, 2008.

Death Penalty In Law

Does the country’s constitution make reference to capital punishment?

The Preamble (which under Article 65 is an integral part of the Constitution) states the people of Cameroon’s attachment to the principle that “every person has a right to life, to physical and moral integrity and to humane treatment in all circumstances” without qualification. [1] The Preamble adds that “[u]nder no circumstances shall any person be subjected to torture, or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishments.” [2] The Constitution does not mention the death penalty.

Does the country’s constitution make reference to international law?

Under Article 45, “duly approved or ratified treaties and international agreements shall, following their publication, override national laws, provided the other party implements the said treaty or agreement.” [3] The Preamble (which under Article 65 is an integral part of the Constitution) states the people of Cameroon’s attachment to “the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of the United Nations and The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and all duly ratified international conventions relating thereto.” [4]

This constitutional principle is explicitly integrated into criminal law, via art. 2(1) of the Penal Code, which provides that “the rules of international law and of duly ratified and published treaties are applicable to the present code and to any criminal provision.” [5]

Have there been any significant changes in the application of the death penalty over the last several years?

Although the last known execution took place in 1997, [6] making Cameroon an abolitionist de facto state, there are currently at least 77 death-sentenced prisoners [7] and death sentences have been handed down as recently as 2010 [8] and 2011. [9]

Government representatives of Cameroon reported to the U.N. Human Rights Committee that its President “routinely” commutes any death sentence upon receiving a mercy petition. [10] Clemency petitions are automatically filed after any final death sentence is imposed. [11] Perhaps as a result of this statement of policy, the Human Rights Committee expressed its belief in its August 2010 report that the Cameroonian Government was considering establishing an official moratorium on executions. [12]

In addition, the President issued blanket commutation decrees in 2004, [13] 2005, [14] 2008, [15] 2010, [16] and 2011, [17] replacing death sentences with life imprisonment. However, the decrees excluded certain categories of offenses, and were not always efficiently implemented. [18] It is not clear, for instance, how many death sentences were commuted by the presidential decree of May 2010, since article 4 excluded recidivist offenders and persons who had been sentenced for capital murder or aggravated theft, among others. [19] Moreover, by the end of 2010, the presidential decree had not yet been fully implemented, and death row inmates had not been informed of the decree. [20] On November 3, 2011, another presidential decree commuted the death sentences of certain prisoners, but excluded those convicted of murder or aggravated robbery, and did not specify how many persons benefitted from the commutation of sentence. [21]

There appears to be no prospect of immediate abolition in Cameroon. During its 2009 Universal Periodic Review, Cameroon rejected the recommendation that it abolish the death penalty, “because of its dissuasive effect and public support for its retention.” [22]

Is there currently an official moratorium on executions within the country?

No; nor is there an unofficial moratorium in the form of a systematic policy of commutations.

Government representatives of Cameroon reported to the U.N. Human Rights Committee that its President “routinely” commutes any death sentence upon receiving a mercy petition, [23] which is automatically filed pursuant to any final death sentence. [24] Perhaps as a result of this statement of policy, the Human Rights Committee expressed its belief in its August 2010 report that the Cameroonian Government was considering establishing an official moratorium on executions. [25]

In addition, the President issued blanket commutation decrees in 2004, [26] 2005, [27] 2008, [28] 2010, [29] and 2011, [30] replacing death sentences with life imprisonment. However, the decrees excluded certain categories of offenses, and were not always efficiently implemented. [31] It is not clear, for instance, how many death sentences were commuted by the presidential decree of May 2010, since article 4 excluded recidivist offenders and persons who had been sentenced for capital murder or aggravated theft, among others. [32] Moreover, by the end of 2010, the presidential decree had not yet been fully implemented, and death row inmates had not been informed of the decree. [33] On November 3, 2011, another presidential decree commuted the death sentences of certain prisoners, but excluded those convicted of murder or aggravated robbery, and did not specify how many persons benefitted from the commutation of sentence. [34]

Have there been any significant published cases concerning the death penalty in national courts?

As of Feb. 28, 2012, we did not locate any significant recent cases on the death penalty.

Where can one locate or access judicial decisions regarding the death penalty?

While laws and some subsidiary legislation are published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cameroon, there has never been a regular and solid case law reporter. Efforts to establish a reporter were sporadic and short-lived, and only a selection of cases from the 1960s, 70s and 90s have been published. [35]

At the present time, some cases are reported as a result of private initiatives. Anglophone cases are published in the Cameroon Common Law Report by a private law firm, and francophone cases are published in the Juridis Périodique: Revue de droit et Science Politique, edited by the Association for the Promotion of Law in Africa (Association pour la Promotion du Droit en Afrique). [36]

What is the clemency process?

A final death sentence is automatically the subject of a mercy petition with the President. [37] Under Article 8 of the Constitution, the President has the right to exercise clemency, after consultation with the Higher Judicial Council. [38]

According to the Cameroonian authorities, death sentences are systematically commuted to life imprisonment. [39] In 2004, [40] 2005, [41] 2008 [42] and 2010, [43] presidential decrees were issued that commuted death sentences for capital crimes such as treason to life imprisonment, but these decrees explicitly excluded certain offenses from the clemency grant. [44]

Are jury trials provided for defendants charged with capital offenses?

No, there is no jury system in Cameroonian criminal law. [45]

Brief Description of Appellate Process

Under Section 407 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the High Court is competent to try felonies. [46] If the accused has been sentenced in absentia, he may file an application for the setting aside of the judgment, and the Court will try the matter de novo. [47] Appeals are lodged before the Court of Appeal. [48] Judgments delivered by the Courts of Appeal may in turn be appealed to the Supreme Court. [49]

Once a judgment has become final, a convicted person may apply to the Supreme Court for a review of the criminal proceedings in limited circumstances. These circumstances involve the appearance of new evidence raising a doubt on the guilt of the death-sentenced person. [50] There is no time limit to apply for such a review. [51] If the Supreme Court finds the application admissible but not ready for hearing, the execution of the sentence is stayed. [52]

References

[1] Constitution of the Republic of Cameroon, Preamble & art. 65, Law No. 96-06, dated Jan. 18, 1996, amending the Constitution of Jun. 2, 1972 & Law No. 2008/001, dated Apr. 14, 2008, modifying and completing certain provisions of Law No. 96-06.
[2] Constitution of the Republic of Cameroon, Preamble & art. 65, Law No. 96-06, dated Jan. 18, 1996, amending the Constitution of Jun. 2, 1972 & Law No. 2008/001, dated Apr. 14, 2008, modifying and completing certain provisions of Law No. 96-06.
[3] Constitution of the Republic of Cameroon, art. 45, Law No. 96-06, dated Jan. 18, 1996, amending the Constitution of Jun. 2, 1972 & Law No. 2008/001, dated Apr. 14, 2008, modifying and completing certain provisions of Law No. 96-06.
[4] Constitution of the Republic of Cameroon, Preamble & art. 65, Law No. 96-06, dated Jan. 18, 1996, amending the Constitution of Jun. 2, 1972 & Law No. 2008/001, dated Apr. 14, 2008, modifying and completing certain provisions of Law No. 96-06.
[5] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 2(1), Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004.
[6] Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012. GeED et al., Cameroon: NGO report on the implementation of the ICCPR (Replies to the List of Issues CCPR/C/CMR/Q4), p. 17, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/GeED_Cameroon_HRC99.pdf, Jun. 2010. Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Republic of Cameroon Report 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2009, last accessed Oct. 26, 2010.
[7] Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012. GeED et al., Cameroon: NGO report on the implementation of the ICCPR (Replies to the List of Issues CCPR/C/CMR/Q4), p. 17, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/GeED_Cameroon_HRC99.pdf, Jun. 2010. Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Republic of Cameroon Report 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2009, last accessed Oct. 26, 2010.
[8] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ACT50/001/2011/en/ea1b6b25-a62a-4074-927d-ba51e88df2e9/act500012011en.pdf, Mar. 28, 2011.
[9] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[10] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Compte rendu analytique de la 2726e séance, Examen des rapports soumis par les États parties conformément à l’article 40 du Pacte (suite), Quatrième rapport périodique du Cameroun (suite), para. 23, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/SR.2726, Aug. 8, 2010.
[11] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 22, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004. GeED et al., Cameroon: NGO report on the implementation of the ICCPR (Replies to the List of Issues CCPR/C/CMR/Q4), p. 16, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/GeED_Cameroon_HRC99.pdf, Jun. 2010.
[12] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Compte rendu analytique de la 2726e séance, Examen des rapports soumis par les États parties conformément à l’article 40 du Pacte (suite), Quatrième rapport périodique du Cameroun (suite), para. 14, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/SR.2726, Aug. 8, 2010.
[13] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 75, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008 (citing a 2006 Amnesty Intl. report).
[14] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration Of Reports Submitted By States Parties Under Article 40 Of The Covenant, Fourth Periodic Reports Of States Parties, Cameroon, para. 122, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/CMR/4, May 11, 2009.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Republic of Cameroon Report 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2009, last accessed Oct. 26, 2010Feb. 28, 2012. La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Cameroun, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=105, last accessed Oct. 26, 2010Feb. 28, 2012. GeED et al., Cameroon: NGO report on the implementation of the ICCPR (Replies to the List of Issues CCPR/C/CMR/Q4), p. 17, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/GeED_Cameroon_HRC99.pdf, Jun. 2010.
[16] La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Cameroun, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=105, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012. Pamela Bidjocka, President Paul Biya Signs Decree to Commute and Remit Sentences, Cameroon Radio and Television (CRTV), http://www.crtv.cm/cont/nouvelles/nouvelles_sola_fr.php?idField=6949&table=nouvelles&sub=national, May 21, 2010.
[17] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, pp. 46-47, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[18] Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012. Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Republic of Cameroon Report 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2009, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012. Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 75, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008 (citing a 2006 Amnesty Intl. report). Pamela Bidjocka, President Paul Biya Signs Decree to Commute and Remit Sentences, Cameroon Radio and Television (CRTV), http://www.crtv.cm/cont/nouvelles/nouvelles_sola_fr.php?idField=6949&table=nouvelles&sub=national, May 21, 2010. La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Cameroun, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=105, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[19] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 35, ACT 50/001/2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ACT50/001/2011/en/ea1b6b25-a62a-4074-927d-ba51e88df2e9/act500012011en.pdf, Mar. 28, 2011.
[20] Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[21] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[22] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report Of The Working Group On The Universal Periodic Review, Cameroon, Addendum, Opinions On The Conclusions And/Or Recommendations, Voluntary Commitments And Responses Submitted By The State Reviewed, p. 5, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/11/21/Add.1, Jun. 9, 2009.
[23] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Compte rendu analytique de la 2726e séance, Examen des rapports soumis par les États parties conformément à l’article 40 du Pacte (suite), Quatrième rapport périodique du Cameroun (suite), para. 23, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/SR.2726, Aug. 8, 2010.
[24] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 22, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to until Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004. GeED et al., Cameroon: NGO report on the implementation of the ICCPR (Replies to the List of Issues CCPR/C/CMR/Q4), p. 16, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/GeED_Cameroon_HRC99.pdf, Jun. 2010.
[25] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Compte rendu analytique de la 2726e séance, Examen des rapports soumis par les États parties conformément à l’article 40 du Pacte (suite), Quatrième rapport périodique du Cameroun (suite), para. 14, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/SR.2726, Aug. 8, 2010.
[26] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 75, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008 (citing a 2006 Amnesty Intl. report).
[27] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration Of Reports Submitted By States Parties Under Article 40 Of The Covenant, Fourth Periodic Reports Of States Parties, Cameroon, para. 122, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/CMR/4, May 11, 2009.
[28] Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Republic of Cameroon Report 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2009, last accessed Oct. 26, 2010Feb. 28, 2012. La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Cameroun, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=105, last accessed Oct. 26, 2010Feb. 28, 2012. GeED et al., Cameroon: NGO report on the implementation of the ICCPR (Replies to the List of Issues CCPR/C/CMR/Q4), p. 17, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/GeED_Cameroon_HRC99.pdf, Jun. 2010.
[29] La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Cameroun, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=105, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012. Pamela Bidjocka, President Paul Biya Signs Decree to Commute and Remit Sentences, Cameroon Radio and Television (CRTV), http://www.crtv.cm/cont/nouvelles/nouvelles_sola_fr.php?idField=6949&table=nouvelles&sub=national, May 21, 2010.
[30] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, pp. 46-47, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[31] Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012. Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Republic of Cameroon Report 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2009, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012. Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 75, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008 (citing a 2006 Amnesty Intl. report). Pamela Bidjocka, President Paul Biya Signs Decree to Commute and Remit Sentences, Cameroon Radio and Television (CRTV), http://www.crtv.cm/cont/nouvelles/nouvelles_sola_fr.php?idField=6949&table=nouvelles&sub=national, May 21, 2010. La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Cameroun, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=105, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[32] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 35, ACT 50/001/2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ACT50/001/2011/en/ea1b6b25-a62a-4074-927d-ba51e88df2e9/act500012011en.pdf, Mar. 28, 2011.
[33] Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[34] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[35] Charles Manga Fombad, Researching Cameroonian Law, Globalex, http://www.nyulawglobal.com/globalex/Cameroon1.htm, Feb. 2011.
[36] Charles Manga Fombad, Researching Cameroonian Law, Globalex, http://www.nyulawglobal.com/globalex/Cameroon1.htm, Feb. 2011Sep. 2009.
[37] Penal Code of Cameroon, art. 22, Laws No. 65-LF-24 of Nov. 12, 1965 and No. 67-LF-1 of Jun. 12, 1967, as amended through to Jun. 10, 2004, published in Samuel Ngue, Code Pénal, Minos, 3rd ed., 2004. GeED et al., Cameroon: NGO report on the implementation of the ICCPR (Replies to the List of Issues CCPR/C/CMR/Q4), p. 16, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/GeED_Cameroon_HRC99.pdf, Jun. 2010.
[38] Constitution of the Republic of Cameroon, art. 8(7), Law No. 96-06, dated Jan. 18, 1996, amending the Constitution of Jun. 2, 1972 & Law No. 2008/001, dated Apr. 14, 2008, modifying and completing certain provisions of Law No. 96-06.
[39] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Réponses du gouvernement du Cameroun à la liste des points à traiter (CCPR/C/CMR/Q/4) à l’occasion de l’examen du quatrième rapport périodique du Cameroun (CCPR/C/CMR/4), para. 89, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/CMR/Q/4/Add.1, May 3, 2010. U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Compte rendu analytique de la 2726e séance, Examen des rapports soumis par les États parties conformément à l’article 40 du Pacte (suite), Quatrième rapport périodique du Cameroun (suite), para. 23, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/SR.2726, Aug. 8, 2010.
[40] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 75, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008 (citing a 2006 Amnesty Intl. report).
[41] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration Of Reports Submitted By States Parties Under Article 40 Of The Covenant, Fourth Periodic Reports Of States Parties, Cameroon, para. 122, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/CMR/4, May 11, 2009.
[42] Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Republic of Cameroon Report 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2009, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012. La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Cameroun, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=105, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012. GeED et al., Cameroon: NGO report on the implementation of the ICCPR (Replies to the List of Issues CCPR/C/CMR/Q4), p. 17, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/GeED_Cameroon_HRC99.pdf, Jun. 2010.
[43] La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Cameroun, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=105, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012. Pamela Bidjocka, President Paul Biya Signs Decree to Commute and Remit Sentences, Cameroon Radio and Television (CRTV), http://www.crtv.cm/cont/nouvelles/nouvelles_sola_fr.php?idField=6949&table=nouvelles&sub=national, May 21, 2010.
[44] Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012. Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Republic of Cameroon Report 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2009, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012. Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 75, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008 (citing a 2006 Amnesty Intl. report). Pamela Bidjocka, President Paul Biya Signs Decree to Commute and Remit Sentences, Cameroon Radio and Television (CRTV), http://www.crtv.cm/cont/nouvelles/nouvelles_sola_fr.php?idField=6949&table=nouvelles&sub=national, May 21, 2010. La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Cameroun, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=105, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[45] U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154335.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.
[46] Criminal Procedure Code of Cameroon, sec. 407, Law No. 2005/007, Jul. 27, 2005.
[47] Criminal Procedure Code of Cameroon, secs. 427, 429, Law No. 2005/007, Jul. 27, 2005.
[48] Criminal Procedure Code of Cameroon, sec. 436, Law No. 2005/007, Jul. 27, 2005. Law on the Organization of the Judiciary (Loi portant organisation judiciaire), art. 22, Law No. 2006/015, Dec. 29, 2006.
[49] Criminal Procedure Code of Cameroon, sec. 472, Law No. 2005/007, Jul. 27, 2005. See sec. 485 of the Criminal Procedure Code and art. 35 of the Law on the organisation of the Supreme Court, Law No. 2006/016, Dec. 29, 2006, for the grounds of appeal to the Supreme Court.
[50] Criminal Procedure Code of Cameroon, sec. 535, Law No. 2005/007, Jul. 27, 2005.
[51] Criminal Procedure Code of Cameroon, sec. 537(2), Law No. 2005/007, Jul. 27, 2005.
[52] Criminal Procedure Code of Cameroon, secs. 538, 541, Law No. 2005/007, Jul. 27, 2005.

Death Penalty In Practice

Where Are Death-Sentenced Prisoners incarcerated?

At Bamenda Central Prison, death-sentenced prisoners are held in the pretrial detention facilities (possibly alongside pretrial detainees), and might be held in other prisons that lack devoted death row facilities. [1]

Description of Prison Conditions

While we did not find any prison reports concerning death-sentenced prisoners, numerous sources report harsh and life-threatening prison conditions in Cameroon.

Prisons are old and dilapidated, [2] with leaking roofs, insufficient water and electricity, toilets and beds. [3]

Overcrowding is extreme, reaching four to five times infrastructure capacity, in part due to the high proportion of pretrial detainees [4] (over 60% of the total prison population, [5] some of whom have been held for as long as nine years [6] ). In some prisons, there is not enough space for prisoners to sleep lying down. [7]

Food is insufficient, and in some cases prisoners are expected to be fed by their families. [8] Health care is almost non-existent and sanitary conditions are abysmal. [9] New Bell prison contains seven water taps for 2,813 prisoners, contributing to poor hygiene, illness, and death. [10] Prisoners are reported to have died in Maroua prison because of the scorching heat, and in Ngaoundere prison a result of cholera. [11]

Disturbances and escape attempts are frequent, and prisoners have been killed during such attempts. [12] In March 2009, many prisoners were hurt when 10 inmates, including 2 from death row, escaped. [13]

Prison guards are poorly trained, ill-equipped and their numbers inadequate for a large prison population. [14] Corruption among prison personnel is widespread, with prisoners reporting that they must pay “cell fees” to guards to avoid abuse. [15]

Children [are] held together with adults and, at times, men are held together with women. [16]

The use of torture is reported to be widespread, and extreme punishments such as chaining, stripping, use of leg irons, confinement in tiny cells, flogging, and denial of access to food and to sanitation facilities are reported. [17]

Guards and NGOs also report rapes between inmates. [18]

Are there any known foreign nationals currently under sentence of death?

As of February 2012, we did not find any reports of foreign nationals on death row in Cameroon. [19]

What are the nationalities of the known foreign nationals on death row?

As of February 2012, we did not find any reports of foreign nationals on death row in Cameroon. [20]

Are there any known women currently under sentence of death?

It is likely that there is at least one woman was sentenced to death in July 2009 for murdering a pregnant woman. [21] This death sentence would not have been affected by the presidential decree of May 2010, which granted blanket commutations but excluded capital murder. [22]

Are there any reports of individuals currently under sentence of death who may have been under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed?

As of February 2012, we did not find any reports of individuals currently under sentence of death who may have been under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed.

Comments regarding the racial/ethnic composition on death row

Although we found no information regarding racial or ethnic disparities in the application of the death penalty, reports indicate that English-speakers in South Cameroon are discriminated against because they are interrogated by the police in French only and are sometimes forced to sign transcripts or documents in French. [23]

Are there lawyers available for indigent defendants facing capital trials?

A new law dated April 14, 2009, reportedly establishes legal aid commissions for courts of first instance, high courts, military tribunals, courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court. By the end of 2010, this new legislation had not been implemented. [24]

Under Section 417 of the Criminal Procedure Code, if an accused being prosecuted for a felony punishable by death before the High Court has no counsel, the Presiding Judge “shall of his own motion assign one to him”. [25] According to a lawyer’s 2007 report on state funded representation, “[although] the fee is comparatively trivial, many lawyers, especially younger lawyers or ‘new wigs’, have defended many desperate citizens in such cases. At times, these lawyers even wait in court for cases to be assigned to them once they are aware that a capital murder case is coming up.” [26] Despite this commendable eagerness, “[remuneration] is quite low and discouraging for lawyers... Consequently, most of the lawyers involved in this approach... at times lack the requisite experience to handle serious offenses like capital murder.” [27]

It is reported that the legal system is “fraught with many delays, such that it [was] not effective in assisting poor citizens to access justice.” [28] Also, lawyers are scarce in Cameroon and almost all of them are based in urban areas. [29]

Are there lawyers available for indigent prisoners on appeal?

We believe that death-sentenced prisoners have a right to appointed counsel on appeal. Although we have not identified a statutory provision that requires the appointment of counsel in the Court of Appeal, Section 490 of the Criminal Procedure Code provides for the appointment of counsel in capital cases before the Supreme Court: “where an appellant sentenced to […] death has not briefed counsel, the President of the Supreme Court shall of his own motion, assign one to him […].” [30]

Comments on Quality of Legal Representation

In 2007, a lawyer reported that the state-controlled legal-aid system was “fraught with many delays, such that it [was] not effective in assisting poor citizens to access justice.” [31] Additionally, “[remuneration] is quite low and discouraging for lawyers. Many lawyers do not accept publicly funded legal aid files because of the meagre remuneration. Consequently, most of the lawyers involved in this approach are ‘new wigs’, who at times lack the requisite experience to handle serious offenses like capital murder.” [32]

A 2010 U.N. report, citing non-governmental sources, states that it is difficult for lawyers to be heard during pre-trial investigations. Expedited trials take place in the absence of lawyers when people are arrested during public protests, [33] although these crimes are not death-eligible.

Other Comments on Criminal Justice System

Reports indicate that torture is still used. [34] According to international NGOs that monitor the use of torture (such as FIACAT and FIDH), while the number of cases of physical torture has decreased, psychological torture has increased. [35] According to law, the police may only use “reasonable force” on an arrested person; [36] some reports indicate that police abuse the right, using arrest as an opportunity to torture suspects. [37]

The judiciary is not independent and corruption and inefficiency are reported to be serious problems. [38]

It has been noted that in practice, Cameroonian courts primarily apply domestic law without any reference to international norms. [39]

References

[1] Lilian Manka Chenwi, Towards the abolition of the death penalty in Africa: a human rights perspective, p. 236, http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10062005-151306/unrestricted/05chapter5.pdf, May 2005.
[2] Helen Namondo Linonge, The dynamics of prison administration and prison reform in Cameroon, p. 45, Cameroon Journal on Democracy and Human Rights, Vol. 4, No. 1, p. 45, Jun. 2010. U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154335.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.
[3] U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154335.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.
[4] U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154335.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.
[5] Intl. Center for Prison Studies, World Prison Brief: Cameroon, http://www.prisonstudies.org/info/worldbrief/wpb_country.php?country=7, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[6] U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154335.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.
[7] Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[8] Helen Namondo Linonge, The dynamics of prison administration and prison reform in Cameroon, p. 45, Cameroon Journal on Democracy and Human Rights, Vol. 4, No. 1, Jun. 2010. U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154335.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.
[9] U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154335.htm, Apr. 8, 2011. Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[10] U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154335.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[12] Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[13] U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154335.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.
[14] Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[15] U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154335.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.
[16] Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Republic of Cameroon Report 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2009, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[17] U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154335.htm, Apr. 8, 2011. Lilian Manka Chenwi, Towards the abolition of the death penalty in Africa: a human rights perspective, p. 237, http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10062005-151306/unrestricted/05chapter5.pdf, May 2005. Amnesty Intl., Annual Human Rights Report 2011: Cameroon, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/cameroon/report-2011, last accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
[18] U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154335.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.
[19] Mark Warren, Foreigners Under Sentence of Death Worldwide, http://users.xplornet.com/~mwarren/world.html, May 7, 2010.
[20] Mark Warren, Foreigners Under Sentence of Death Worldwide, http://users.xplornet.com/~mwarren/world.html, May 7, 2010.
[21] Assongmo Necdem, Ntui : Une femme condamnée à mort pour assassinat, Le Jour, http://www.cameroun-online.com/actualite,actu-11559.html, Aug. 11, 2009.
[22] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 35, ACT 50/001/2011, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ACT50/001/2011/en/ea1b6b25-a62a-4074-927d-ba51e88df2e9/act500012011en.pdf, Mar. 28, 2011.
[23] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Summary Prepared By The Office Of The High Commissioner For Human Rights, In Accordance With Paragraph 15 (C) Of The Annex To Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1 Cameroon, para. 21, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/4/CMR/3, Nov. 24, 2008. U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Follow-up to the recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur Visits to Azerbaijan, Brazil, Cameroon, China (People’s Republic of), Denmark, Georgia, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Paraguay, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Spain, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan and Togo, p. 28, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.6, Feb. 26, 2010.
[24] U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154335.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.
[25] Criminal Procedure Code of Cameroon, sec. 417(2), Law No. 2005/007, Jul. 27, 2005.
[26] Nchunu Justice Sama, Providing Legal Aid in Criminal Justice in Cameroon: the Role of Lawyers, in Penal Reform Intl. & Bluhm Legal Clinic of the Northwestern University School of Law, Access to Justice in Africa and Beyond, Making the Rule of Law a Reality, pp. 156-157, Penal Reform International, 2007.
[27] Nchunu Justice Sama, Providing Legal Aid in Criminal Justice in Cameroon: the Role of Lawyers, in Penal Reform Intl. & Bluhm Legal Clinic of the Northwestern University School of Law, Access to Justice in Africa and Beyond, Making the Rule of Law a Reality, p. 159, Penal Reform International, 2007.
[28] Nchunu Justice Sama, Providing Legal Aid in Criminal Justice in Cameroon: the Role of Lawyers, in Penal Reform Intl. & Bluhm Legal Clinic of the Northwestern University School of Law, Access to Justice in Africa and Beyond, Making the Rule of Law a Reality, p. 157, Penal Reform International, 2007.
[29] Nchunu Justice Sama, Providing Legal Aid in Criminal Justice in Cameroon: the Role of Lawyers, in Penal Reform Intl. & Bluhm Legal Clinic of the Northwestern University School of Law, Access to Justice in Africa and Beyond, Making the Rule of Law a Reality, p. 161, Penal Reform International, 2007.
[30] Criminal Procedure Code of Cameroon, sec. 490, Law No. 2005/007, Jul. 27, 2005.
[31] Nchunu Justice Sama, Providing Legal Aid in Criminal Justice in Cameroon: the Role of Lawyers, in Penal Reform Intl. & Bluhm Legal Clinic of the Northwestern University School of Law, Access to Justice in Africa and Beyond, Making the Rule of Law a Reality, p. 157, Penal Reform International, 2007.
[32] Nchunu Justice Sama, Providing Legal Aid in Criminal Justice in Cameroon: the Role of Lawyers, in Penal Reform Intl. & Bluhm Legal Clinic of the Northwestern University School of Law, Access to Justice in Africa and Beyond, Making the Rule of Law a Reality, p. 159, Penal Reform International, 2007.
[33] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, Addendum, Follow-up to the recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur Visits to Azerbaijan, Brazil, Cameroon, China (People’s Republic of), Denmark, Georgia, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Paraguay, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Spain, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan and Togo, pp. 28-29, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/13/39/Add.6, Feb. 26, 2010.
[34] U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154335.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.
[35] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Summary Prepared By The Office Of The High Commissioner For Human Rights, In Accordance With Paragraph 15 (C) Of The Annex To Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1 Cameroon, para. 11, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/4/CMR/3, Nov. 24, 2008.
[36] Criminal Procedure Code of Cameroon, sec. 30 (2), Law No. 2005/007, Jul. 27, 2005.
[37] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Summary Prepared By The Office Of The High Commissioner For Human Rights, In Accordance With Paragraph 15 (C) Of The Annex To Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1 Cameroon, para. 11, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/4/CMR/3, Nov. 24, 2008.
[38] U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Cameroon, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154335.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.
[39] Jean-Louis Atangana Amougou, Les tribunaux militaires et juridictions d’exception au Cameroun, published in Élisabeth Lambert Abdelgawad, Juridictions Militaires et Tribunaux d’Exception en Mutation: Perspectives Comparées et Internationales, p. 96, Editions des archives contemporaines, 2007.

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Decisions of Human Rights Committee

In its 2010 Concluding Observations regarding Cameroon’s compliance with the ICCPR, the Human Rights Committee recommended that Cameroon “consider abolishing the death penalty or at least formalizing the current de facto moratorium on the death penalty” and “accede to the Second Optional Protocol to the Covenant.” [1] It also expressed concerns that “torture remains widespread in the State party” and that “confessions obtained under torture are still taken into consideration during court hearings, notwithstanding the explicit provision on the inadmissibility of confessions obtained under duress under the Criminal Procedure Code.” [2] The Committee also noted long pretrial detention periods and “the high number of persons held in pretrial detention, accounting for 61 per cent of the total prison population.” [3] The Committee also remained “concerned about the continuing problem of severe overcrowding and grossly inadequate conditions in prisons. In addition to concerns about inadequate hygiene and health conditions, inadequate rations and quality of food, and inadequate access to health care, the Committee [noted] that the rights of women to be separated from men, of minors to be separated from adults, and of persons in pretrial detention to be separated from convicts are often not guaranteed.” [4] The Committee further recommended to Cameroon to take “appropriate measures to ensure and protect the independence and impartiality of the judiciary.” [5]

Decisions of Other Human Rights Bodies

In response to the recommendations of the Human Rights Council pursuant to its 2009 Universal Periodic Review of human rights, Cameroon supported recommendations that it “continue the ongoing efforts to ensure the conformity of detention conditions with international standards (Algeria); facilitate full access of international and local humanitarian organisations to prisons; and speed up judicial reforms, including the construction of new prisons (Germany).” [6] Cameroon rejected the recommendation that it abolish the death penalty, “because of its dissuasive effect and public support for its retention.” [7]

References

[1] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee, Cameroon, para. 14, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/CMR/CO/4, Aug. 4, 2010.
[2] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee, Cameroon, para. 17, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/CMR/CO/4, Aug. 4, 2010.
[3] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee, Cameroon, para. 20, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/CMR/CO/4, Aug. 4, 2010.
[4] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee, Cameroon, para. 21, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/CMR/CO/4, Aug. 4, 2010.
[5] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee, Cameroon, para. 23, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/CMR/CO/4, Aug. 4, 2010.
[6] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review Report Of The Working Group On The Universal Periodic Review Cameroon, para. 76(21), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/11/21, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session4/CM/A_HRC_11_21_CMR_E.pdf, Mar. 3, 2009.
[7] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report Of The Working Group On The Universal Periodic Review, Cameroon, Addendum, Opinions On The Conclusions And/Or Recommendations, Voluntary Commitments And Responses Submitted By The State Reviewed, p. 5, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/11/21/Add.1, Jun. 9, 2009.

Additional Sources and Contacts

Direct member(s) of World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

Droits et Paix
Me. Nestor Toko Monkam, President
Rue Lottin Same, Akwa
BP 7223 Douala, Cameroun
droitsetpaix@yahoo.fr

Other non-governmental organizations and individuals engaged in advocacy surrounding the death penalty

Réseau des avocats camerounais contre la peine de mort [Network of Cameroonian Lawyers Against the Death Penalty] Me. Nestor Toko Monkam, President
Douala, Cameroun
droitsetpaix@yahoo.fr

ACAT Cameroun
Archibishop’s House, PO Box 82
Bamenda
Cameroon
acat_cameroon@yahoo.com

Ligue Camerounaise des Droits de l’Homme (LCDH)
geremy_tchinda@yahoo.fr
lcd_humains@yahoo.fr

Helpful Reports and Publications

GeED et al., Cameroon, NGO report on the implementation of the ICCPR (Replies to the List of Issues CCPR/C/CMR/Q4), http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrc/docs/ngos/GeED_Cameroon_HRC99.pdf, Jun. 2010.

Helen Namondo Linonge, The dynamics of prison administration and prison reform in Cameroon, p. 45, Cameroon Journal on Democracy and Human Rights, Vol. 4, No. 1, http://www.cjdhr.org/2010-06/Helen-Linonge.pdf, Jun. 2010.

Nchunu Justice Sama, Providing Legal Aid in Criminal Justice in Cameroon: the Role of Lawyers, in Penal Reform Intl. & Bluhm Legal Clinic of the Northwestern University School of Law, Access to Justice in Africa and Beyond, Making the Rule of Law a Reality, Penal Reform International, 2007.

Cameroon Journal on Democracy and Human Rights, http://www.cjdhr.org/.

Additional notes regarding this country

None.

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