Moja Moja’s actions go against Article 3, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person”. Article 5, further states: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Moja Moja and his crew have violated all of these.
Even the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights in its Article 5 says, “Every individual shall have the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being and to the recognition of his legal status. All forms of exploitation and degradation of man particularly slavery, slave trade, torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment shall be prohibited.”
On its part, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in its Article 9 (3), prescribes that, “Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release.
“It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and should occasion arise, for execution of the judgement.” In the case of Antoinette Kongnso, one of Moja Moja’s victims, she has been detained for a year, over a flimsy charge her lawyers say is even a misdemeanour, even if she is found guilty.
The Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, in its article 2 (2) frowns at torture, stating that, “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”
“Article 4(1) states that, “Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture. (2). Each State Party shall make these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.” In the case of Moja Moja, the administration seems to have turned a blind eye in the worst case, giving him the go ahead to violate rights with impunity.
When this reporter went to the Buea military tribunal to enquire about the case of Antoinette Kongnso, the officials there were rather very hostile. They rather interpreted the questions asked about the pregnant woman at the time to mean support for separatist fighter, No Pity. The actions of Moja Moja have largely been encouraged through the inaction and silence authorities maintain whenever Moja and his crew violate the rights of everyday citizens.
By Andrew Nsoseka, JADE