The Cameroon Human Rights Commission (CHRC) launched yesterday, Match 14, in Bafoussam, a training on human rights for judicial police officers (OPJ) of the police and gendarmerie units of the West region. This training is the first of a series and aims to help OPJs better respect and proactively protect fundamental rights, we learned. At least forty participants are taking part.
The program "ensures that the use of force is exercised per the principles of legality, necessity, and proportionality, which are fundamental for the development of just societies. The training will make the OPJs effective guardians of justice, freedom, and security,” says the CHRC's regional office for the West. There have been many reports of excessive use of force by police officers in Cameroon. They were often accused of abusing civilians, particularly in the context of the Anglophone crisis. Most cases of abuse included arbitrary arrest and detention, poor conditions in detention facilities, use of unofficial detention centers, restrictions on freedom of expression, violence, torture, and inhumane and degrading treatment.
CHRC also cited corruption, the intervention of the defense and security forces in areas that do not fall within their competence, the lack of public confidence in the police officers, and violence by approach (poor strategy for approaching people). The Commission recalled the urgent need for police officers to respect human rights and actively protect them, specifying that knowing the rules is not enough to translate them into appropriate professional behavior. The training, therefore, comes rightly to raise awareness, strengthen the skills of OPJs and develop those they already possess.