STOP THE DEPORTATION! Southern Cameroon asylum seeker under threat

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Southern Cameroons National Council demonstration at Downing Street on October 1
Southern Cameroons National Council demonstration at Downing Street on October 1

SCNCUK (Southern Cameroons National Council United Kingdom) is appealing to the Home Office to give Akuchu Maxwell the protection he requires and not deport him today, as is threatened.

‘Maxwell should not be sent back to Cameroon where he will again be tortured and sent to prison.

‘We of SCNCUK are in full support of Maxwell’s rights to justice.

‘Maxwell has been active in all demonstrations for the fight for our independence and if he is sent back now he will face the death penalty as the Cameroon dictator president just passed a new law for a death penalty for any person who is against his regime.

‘Maxwell fled Cameroon from persecution after having served a long prison term just for taking part in a demonstration that continuously fights for the independence of Southern Cameroons.

‘Maxwell has claimed asylum-seeking protection from the UK government and instead of the government protecting Maxwell he has been put in detention awaiting deportation back to his persecutors.

‘Maxwell has been an active member of SCNCUK where he has taken part in demonstrations at No 10 Downing Street amongst other SCNCUK activists.

‘He is presently detained at Brooke House Immigration Removal Centre, Gatwick, with removal directions set for 23 of January.

‘The Home Office have not even listened to Maxwell and all it wants to do is send back someone to face prosecution. Where is the human rights we advocate in this country?’

BACKGROUND

1. The French Cameroon was a French colony whereas the Southern Cameroons (English Cameroon) was a British colony. These two territories were separate and different in all ramifications.

2. The French Cameroon had its independence in 1960 whereas the British Southern Cameroons had its independence on 1/10/1961.These two territories were separate from each other both in culture and language.

3. The Southern Cameroons had its autonomy, leadership, independence, constitutions and right to self-determination and freedom.

4. In 1972, the French Cameroon annexed Southern Cameroons, annulled its constitutions and divided southern Cameroons in to two provinces for the purpose of divide and rule and to weaken its territory.

5. The natural resources such as oil/petroleum in Cameroon are based only in the Southern Cameroons, the banana plantations and palm oil plantation, petroleum refineries, rubber plantations are strictly in The Southern Cameroons. The French Cameroon annexationist regime has taken over these resources based in our territory, using them for development of their own regions (French Cameroons only).

6. About 4 airports in the Southern Cameroons have been closed down by the French Cameroon which has flooded their police and gendarmerie forces in to Southern Cameroons.

My Story

This all began back in mid-2009. After I finished my University studies, I was working in a Secretariat in Yaounde. Hard-working and committed as we were, we didn’t gain any favour from our neighbours (business associates) who were purely jealous just because we were Anglophones.

Our business premises were then closed down till further notice for reasons I didn’t even know. This wasn’t too good for me as I was desperate for a job. So I travelled to Buea where I knew I would have assistance, support and where we share the same ideology.

While in Buea, I was introduced to the SCNC Party. I welcomed it and decided to be a member because of the ideology we share together and to gain our freedom, privileges and our inalienable rights from La Republic Du Cameroun.

So I was given some tasks to carry out. Firstly, I had to travel to the North West, to areas like Bamenda, Kumbo and Nkambe.

As my assignment, I was to deliver confidential letters and mail, pass on verbal information and attend meetings. On the other hand, I collected mail, letters and verbal information as well to take back to Buea. I loved it and like the way it was being run. I was a secret agent and despatcher.

In 2010, between the end of July and the beginning of August, after a football game, me and some others were discussing about the SCNC and the problems we Anglophones were going through in the country, thinking of what the future holds for us and that of our juniors and children.

We have to gain our equal rights, justice, privileges from La Republic. Unnoticed, we were surrounded by eight policemen who arrested me. Before throwing me into their car, I was well beaten with their sticks and kicked about like a ball. I was arrested together with another woman. But we weren’t put together.

I was taken to a cell which I shared with other criminals. We were about fifteen in the little cell, sleeping on the floor. In fact we slept in turns cos we all couldn’t sleep at the same time.

We shared the same bucket to for urine and excrement. As a new member of the cell, the ‘chef de celleur’ had to give me what they call ‘new man tax’ which was another beating. I couldn’t resist. I was completely exhausted.

The following morning, two policemen came and took me out for what they call morning coffee. I was tied up, my head was covered with a black piece of cloth and I was taken to another building.

To date, I don’t know this area. While there, I was tied lying flat with my belly on a straight iron, hands and feet tied together such that I couldn’t move. I was given the beating of my life.

I was taken back to the main cell, with injuries all over my buttocks and back, my arms paralysed, serious headache like my head was about to fall off.

Yet I had to carry on in that condition, the beatings were day-in day-out. Barely having food to eat nor water to drink.

When we even had food it wouldn’t be sufficient for all the inmates. It will be the survival of the fittest. This was intentionally done by the police. After, about nine days, I was released with charge by the state council. Thank God.

A few weeks after the arrest, I had been indoors, so I decided to go out for a walk to freshen up. I met an old friend who was at a car wash and we were catching up with old times.

I was explaining to him all that had been happening to me, my arrest and how I had become an SCNC member. I told him we had to struggle to gain our inalienable rights, our privileges back from La Republic.

In the course of our conversation, nearby people were interested and it was inspiring. Little did I know there was an undercover spy among them. He immediately phoned the Gendarmerie who immediately appeared at the scene and took me away.

I was being detained. This was for three miserable days of my life. After being beaten again by them, I told them I wasn’t too well and was just recovering from an illness.

They abandoned me in a cell alone, no food, no water. After two days without food I pleaded I was thirsty and hungry. An officer brought me food and water.

The food or the water or both had been drugged, because after eating and drinking, I only discovered myself after some hours without my trousers and sperm all over my buttocks.

They had also urinated all over my body. I felt seriously sick and was at dying point.

They took me out and ordered me to phone someone to come take out of their premises. My mom came and took me home.

She was so devastated and helped with local herbal medicine and some medcines from the local pharmacist as well. I gain a little bit of strength but couldn’t be involved in any serious activity.

Around the 20th of September, I was home with my mom. She was lying down in the living area and I was in the kitchen heating food when suddenly some armed men smashed past our door.

They held my mom and were asking my whereabouts, so my mom shouted in our local language I should ‘escape’, so I flee through the window and outside, I was gone. I took cover for some time and when I sensed it was quiet, I came home to discover my mom wasn’t there.

I made inquiry with the neighbour and she told me her husband had rushed my mom to the hospital. This was just too much for me to carry. I went to see my mom at hospital. She couldn’t make it because of the injuries. She died.

After her burial in October, this man came to me and showed me the documentation he had started with my mother for me to depart the country.

(He explained) That my mom had paid him to arrange for me to leave the country that it wasn’t safe for me anymore.

He also advised me to move my belongings and change my house. I found a new place but before I could move all my stuff, I was arrested again by the Buea Central Police.

Given the normal ‘cafe’. The travel agent came and bailed me out. He took me to a secret location and told me I will only leave once I have my visa.

After two to three months I had the visa. He then booked my flight in the late morning hours when security won’t be tight. I travelled safely to Britain.

That’s how it all happened.

Thank God I’m here.