Ensure legal representation for over 1000 prisoners detained in the context of the conflict in the Cameroons. Victoria Relief Foundation will provide financial support to cover transport fair, local accommodation, and other logistics for a team of 17 common law lawyers who volunteer and work on a Pro-Bono basis as counsel for Anglophone detainees in Cameroun. The detainees are tried in french which they don't understand, using civil law which causes many of them to receive lengthy sentences.
There are an estimated 3000 Southern Cameroonians detained by Cameroun Government in the context of the conflict in the Cameroons. The trials of these Prisoners of Conscience (PoCs) at the mercy of one of the most unfair and opaque judicial systems in the world have largely gone unnoticed and unreported.They'r often arrested without warrant, held incommunicado for long periods and if not quickly traced, can disappear indefinitely. This project will affect about 1000 of those known in the prisons
VRF through this project will provide logistics for a team of 17 Pro-Bono common law lawyers to visit the prisons to advise detainees and prepare their case files. VRF will also support logistics such as transport fair, accommodation and stipend for the lawyers to be present in court to defend detainees when their cases are finally heard and file appeals against some of the most unjust sentences that these detainees frequently receive. VRF will also provide logistics to trace missing detainees
The presence of common law lawyers in court to provide counsel to these defendants challenges the status quo and attempts to ensure, not only that justice is served, but is seen be served. This will eventually lead to less arbitrariness in arrests, detention, trials, and sentencing in the Cameroun legal system which has traditionally depended only on French civil law, leading to less unrest in the Southern Cameroons. Also timely tracing will reduce number of enforced disappearances of detainees
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).