Anglophone detainees blocked from court walk out protest

Mancho Bibixy and six other anglophone detainees brought before the Yaounde military court on Tuesday attempted a walk out of…

Mancho Bibixy and six other anglophone detainees brought before the Yaounde military court on Tuesday attempted a walk out of the to express dissatisfaction at proceedings but were blocked by security forces.

The detainees attempted to stage a walkout of the court to protest against the expulsion of one of their Thomas Awah Junior for questioning the magistrate even before proceedings could begin.

This drama started after the late arrival of the magistrate Col. Abega Mbezoa Eko Eko  of the military court at 18h53 pm several hours after the detainees had been waiting in court since 9 O’clock in the morning.

At he her request to know why there was noise in the court, she was met by a fierce response from one of the accused Thomas Awah Junior who then accused the court for framing up charges at every session.

This reaction did not sit down well with the magistrate who ordered prison guards to ‘cuff  him out of the court hall. Mancho Bibixy and the others in an attempt to walk out in protest, were blocked before the magistrate and prosecutor ordered for military rteinforcement to tighten up secutrity accusing them of attempting a “prison break”.

A move by the court which was not appreciated by Claude Assira, member of the lead counsel who told the court the detainees had their escorts and it was intimidation and a violation of their rights to call in the military.

On his part, Tsi Contrad, one of the detainees stressed to the court that their action was not a show of rebellion or defiance but they wanted the magistrate to understand that they are fed up being kept to wait in court for most parts of the hearings.

The magistrate on her part blamed the late start on the lack of halls which means all the other cases take place in one hall.

The accusations and counter accusations moved on to both parties as the civil party firmly opposed a motion from the defense counsel to adjourn the case. However the court was forced to puch the case further to May 24 but with firm instructions from the magistrate that no other adjournment will be accepted.

The court then witnessed one last final drama when Mancho Bibixy took the floor to explain their attempted walkout before making startling revelations on their living conditions in prison which he said has led to one anglophone being stabbed to death. He also reveal how they are attacked on a daily by fellow inmates but have never retaliated.

It was a long walk from the court room to the van as the prison guards struggled to contain the strong exchange of words with the detainees before leaving the court to return only on May 24 for probably sentencing.


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