At least 8 suspected supporters of terror group, Boko Haram, are dying each month of disease, malnutrition and in some cases torture in prisons in Cameroon, a rights group said on Thursday.
According to Amnesty International, more than 1,000 people accused of supporting Boko Haram in Cameroon are being detained in military bases and prisons, often without any evidence, and dozens are dying from disease, malnutrition and torture.
During a report presentation In Nairobi on Thursday, Amnesty Researcher, Ilaria Allegrozzi, disclosed that:
“We are not necessarily talking about Boko Haram fighters, but about normal people who happened to be in the wrong place in the wrong time. “In the fight against Boko Haram, innocent people are paying the price.”
She also accused the authority of holding many people at illegal detention sites in military bases run by Cameroonian troops before being transferred to official prisons.
Extrajudicial killings by the security forces were also documented in the report, including six cases where it says suspects were tortured to death.
Following a regional offensive last year that drove scores of Boko Haram fighters from most of their strongholds, the Islamist militants have waged a guerrilla-style campaign targeting civilians.
In Cameroon, teenage girls have killed dozens in suicide bombings carried out by the group.
But a crackdown by the government and security forces on the Islamist militants has fuelled the widespread abuse of civilians across Cameroon’s Far North region, said Amnesty International.
Meanwhile, Cameroonian government officials are yet to comment on the claims.