By Eric Tataw – Friday October 11, 2019.
Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the Church of England, Justin Welby, and Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al Juhany, one of the Imams of the Grand Mosque in Mecca (Saudi Arabia), have on Thursday October 10, 2019, called for the unconditional release of Abdulkarim Ali.
Abdulkarim Ali is being held in detention for a third week without charge. The Muslim Scholar was picked up on September 25, 2019 by armed plain clothes men said to be Cameroonian gendarme officers, National Telegraph has been told.
On-the-spot reports from eyewitnesses including security guards at the entrance to the Swiss embassy in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde, said Abdulkarim who was just back from a trip to Switzerland, stopped to brief Pietro Lazzeri, the Swiss Ambassador to Cameroon before he was picked up and forced into a waiting car which immediately took off.
The Vatican and the Church of England said they are gravely concerned by reports that Abdulkarim Ali was beaten at the time of his arrest. They’ve also raised concerns he has been tortured in detention and is being starved.
Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al Juhany has condemned the arrest and detention of Abdulkarim. Reports are also surfacing that gendarmes have prevented him from praying and are forcing him to eat food not prepared by Muslim standards.
Several complaints have been received at the Grand Mosque in Mecca from Muslims in Bamenda, the capital of Cameroon’s North West Region where Abdulkarim is based, sources have told National Telegraph.
Abdulkarim is only one of over 6,000 Ambazonian supporters picked up in similar manner and detained across detention centers in Cameroon under deplorable conditions. Just recently, the leader of the Ambazonia Revolution, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe Julius who had declared the restoration of Independence was sentenced to life, including nine members of his retinue.
Cameroon security officials have reportedly withheld water from him. Family sources say they have not seen or heard from Abdulkarim since his arrest.
At least 13000 people have been killed in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions of the North West and South West where armed groups are fighting to restore the statehood of the former British Cameroons now called Ambazonia.
Over 400 villages have been torched by Cameroonian soldiers with over two million people either internally displaced or living as refugees in neighbouring Nigeria and elsewhere.