In the country's prisons, dozens of inmates are waiting in fear, for the fateful day when they will be executed. This day remains unknown because even though the death penalty is inscribed in the Cameroonian penal code, it has not been applied since a long time.
Indeed, the 12 June 1967 Act in the Penal Code mentions the death penalty among the capital punishments. However, the last execution dates back to 1984, since the failed putsch in April that year”, specifies Lawyer Ngos, Barrister in Cameroon. That year, 47 persons found guilty of taking part in this failed coup d'état were killed by shooting; some in Mbalmayo (South), others in Yaoundé (Centre).
For 32 years, there have been no official execution following a death penalty sentence. The capital punishment however remains among the verdicts rendered by judges.
Only the President of the Republic is authorised to sign their execution. “Any death penalty sentencing is submitted to the President of the Republic to enable him to use his power to pardon”, as stipulated by Article 22 of the 67th Act in the penal code.
Regardless, death penalty abolitionists, among which is the organisation Amnesty International, are campaigning for Cameroon to fully abolish it. But this option is still available, to the detriment of those on death row.