The High Security Prison in Yaoundé, Cameroon, where separatist leader Blaise Sevidzem Berinyuy, also known as Shufai, is being held, February 2019. © Private

Ailing Cameroon Separatist Leader Deserves Proper Medical Care

Human Rights Watch (press release) | Degrading Treatment of High-Profile Prisoner in Military Hospital

Separatist leader Blaise Sevidzem Berinyuy, also known as Shufai, was discharged from the hospital and sent back to a high security prison in Yaoundé on May 21, despite his critical health condition and apparently following pressure by the head of the detention facility on medical staff. Transferring Shufai, who is immunocompromised, to a crowded prison setting where transmission of Covid-19 is more likely seriously enhances the threats to his health and life.

On May 16, Shufai, one of the leaders of the separatist group “Ambazonia Interim Government,” was transferred from the prison to the hospital for non-Covid-19-related illness. His family and lawyers said he was unconscious, and his health had deteriorated significantly over the previous 10 days. They reported that on May 19, Shufai was handcuffed to his hospital bed for the night, despite being barely able to move.

Shufai’s family members and lawyers said that the head of the prison visited Shufai twice at the military hospital and pressed medical staff to discharge him, although his condition continues to be alarming. This is despite concerns over the spread of Covid-19 across Cameroon’s overcrowded prisons.

Shufai and nine other leaders of the “Ambazonia Interim Government” were arrested in January 2018 in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, and forcibly returned to Cameroon. Their extrajudicial transfer was denounced by the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, as violating the fundamental principle of non-refoulement. The forced return of the 10 leaders was also declared illegal by a Nigerian court in March 2019. The 10 leaders were later held incommunicado at Cameroon’s State Defense Secretariat prison for six months before being taken to the Yaoundé high security prison. They were charged with terrorism, rebellion, and secession, and sentenced to life before a military court on August 20, 2019, following a deeply flawed trial.

Cameroon has a fundamental obligation to treat all prisoners with humanity and respect, and as the authorities grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic, they should ensure that all prisoners can take measures such as regular handwashing and have proper access to medical care. They should also ensure sick prisoners receive the medical treatment they need and that their health or lives are not further jeopardized by increasing their risk of Covid-19 infection.

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  1. Am just wondering, why is the issues of Cameroon’s Healthcare being narrowed to one Cameroonian while there are more than 25 million Cameroonians. Human rights should be for all, healthcare should be for all Cameroonians, free or prisoner Shouldn’t matter. Everyone Cameroonian deserves good healthcare. Cameroon has the resources and the human capacity to provide healthcare for all. We just read about revenue increases from various public collection agencies, chad-Cameroon pipeline, costumes revenues, mining and power, agriculture, industries, import and export commodities etc.

  2. Things have fallen apart in that country, thanks to dictatorship. Those who would have
    and can solve the problem [frogs} are less concerned about it, not because they are
    not suffering it`s effect, but because they are excited France is in control.

  3. **** BREAKING SWEET NEWS ****

    The personal medical doctor of LATE Dictator Biya, Col Etoundi Marius passed away early this Friday May 22, after suffering from the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
    Rumours abound that Colonel Etoundi contracted the Virus from Dictator Biya.
    The said dictator Biya was NEUTRALIZED a few months ago by COVID-19.
    However, the criminals ruling the so-called “one and indivisible” LRC are yet to inform the citizens About the death of the Evil dictator. On the 19.05.2020, the criminals even used a voice and imagery Software to deceivethe citizens that Dictator Biya is still alive.
    Believe me or not, Dictator Biya is dead. He is already gnashing and grinding his teeth with Ekema Patrick at the hottest place in hell.

    • There are actually three deaths closely linked to the Unity Palace – the driver of the presidential couple, the driver of Dr. Etoundi and Etoundi himself. .Apparently SG Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh has smartly and furtively rushed his family to safety through Egypt to Israel with much assistance from Israeli security forces.


        “L’ensemble du personnel de la Présidence de la République a subi un test de dépistage du Coronavirus le vendredi 22 mai 2020, informe une source de Cameroon-Info.Net.
        «Tout le monde a été soumis au test, exceptées les personnes qui en avaient déjà réalisé», précise notre informateur.
        Cette mesure de précaution fait suite au décès du colonel Marius Etoundi, médecin chef de l’infirmerie de la Présidence.
        L’officier supérieur, qui a été l’un des médecins personnels du Président Paul Biya pendant trois décennies, est mort dans la nuit du 21 au 22 avril 2020 des suites de COVID-19, a-t-on appris.”

  4. Je me demande simplement pourquoi les problèmes des soins de santé au Cameroun sont réduits à un seul Camerounais alors qu’il y a plus de 25 millions de Camerounais. Les droits de l’homme devraient être pour tous, les soins de santé devraient être pour tous les Camerounais, libres ou détenus. Peu importe. Tout Camerounais mérite de bons soins de santé. Le Cameroun a les ressources et la capacité humaine pour fournir des soins de santé à tous. Nous venons de lire sur les augmentations de revenus de diverses agences de recouvrement public, le pipeline Tchad-Cameroun, les revenus des costumes, les mines et l’électricité, l’agriculture, les industries, les produits d’importation et d’exportation, etc.

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