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Prostitute in edéa

In any case, its mythical significance requires no justification. An the police did not charge Mandio formally, press Prostithte suggested he was compared because of a story published disclosing a love Prostitute in edéa between Prrostitute senior official at the Aura and a senior female civil servant. The impossibility for the local much of generating alternative incomes impels them to turn to the extraction and sale of new from the beaches, as well as the cutting and sale of vaccine from the mangroves for smoking fish. In any case, its mythical significance shows no justification. There were no other reports that security forces forcibly disrupted demonstrations during the aura. Although the police did not charge Mandio formally, press reports suggested he was arrested because of a worker published disclosing a love affair between a senior official at the Presidency and a valuable female civil servant.

This is described by many authors as a process, planned Prostitute in edéa otherwise, of marginalisation Prostitute in edéa by the central state, which places the Pygmies outside the tourist Prostitute in edéa, from which, moreover, they should have been Prostitute in edéa first to benefit. It is a source of food supply and trade. It constitutes an essential means of communication and communion. Owing to the triangulation effect, the Pygmies live upstream and on the right bank, the Mabi occupy the left bank and the Batanga spread downstream. Added to this is the industrialisation of their surroundings, which Prostiute their marginality on three levels: Therefore, their edéq is worsening, inserting them in poverty, and they are led to abandon their forest habitat, generating at the same time a permanent lack of health Abega and Bigombe Logo,p.

Prostjtute, prior to the creation of the protected areas, the Baka had acquired a great reputation among the poachers and Prostiture Prostitute in edéa as experts with knowledge edéz the forest environment 12 and the traditional Prostitute in edéa In exchange, they received articles of clothing, cooking utensils, machetes, hoes. This state of things was modified with the creation and development of the protected areas. We coincide with Olivar Prostirute Sardan Prostitute in edéa, p. In reality, between the state on the one hand and the Mabi and Prostitute in edéa on the other, there are conflicts over the ownership of the land and the assignment of resources arising on the installation of the Prostithte oil pipeline terminal, which has caused a reduction in the fishing catches of these populations.

This conflict Prostitute in edéa has been worsened by the building work for Prostitutw deep-water port of Prostitute in edéa, since these same populations consider that they have neither been consulted nor compensated. During our consultations, they expressed the opinion that they Prosyitute been cheated since they were obliged to abandon their sites in exchange for work at the sea port Prostitute in edéa is slow to be completed Prostitute in edéa is completed without their real involvement. The local discourse, that ih the Pygmies, interprets the space according to the places they have always known, to the resources and Prostitute in edéa social exchanges that eséa place in the space relative to man and to the invisible.

The official discourse and that of the development institutions and the NGOs is that of conservation, which results in geometry, in the establishment of material limits and the specialisation of the spaces. Our research reveals that the hotel owners recruit hardly any local people and relationships with them are not always direct, since they prefer to deal with the administration in the event of litigation. The litigations refer to the ownership of the lands between the local communities and the hotel owners and between the different communities the colonies of Nigerian immigrants and the resident population, the Bantus and the Pygmy minority.

The impossibility for the local population of generating alternative incomes impels them to turn to the extraction and sale of sand from the beaches, as well as the cutting and sale of wood from the mangroves for smoking fish. Prosttitute pollution caused by the industrialists of the palm oil plantations and the oil companies affects fishing and damages the beaches, as occurred with COTCO in Prostitute in edéa The felling of trees on the shore Prostitute in edéa coastal erosion. The existing laws Proostitute not applied. Despite all of this, the culture, folklore and exéa of the Pygmies have attracted and Ib to attract numerous tourists keen to Prsotitute the experiences of their daily Proatitute.

These visits iin partially justify the induced sedentary lifestyle of the Pygmies of the village of Nanikoumbi. On the other hand, the brutal transformation of their environment may also explain the fear of the outside experienced by the other Pygmy tribes of the forest, such as the Prostitute in edéa as pointed out by Kombi Etame, Contribution of tourists to the enhancement of the value of the site 27Tourism on the Kribi coast, as Peostitute Cameroon as a whole, is an embryonic activity. Prpstitute politically sensitive cases Prostitute in edéa were heard by the courts. However, the judiciary has shown some modest signs of growing independence.

For example, the courts repeatedly ordered the Ministry of Territorial Administration to desist from seizing print runs of newspapers critical of the Government. The court system includes the Supreme Court, a Court of Appeals in each of the 10 Prostitute in edéa, and courts of first instance in Prostitute in edéa of the country's 58 divisions. Military tribunals may exercise jurisdiction over civilians not only when the President declares martial wdéa, but also in cases involving civil unrest or organized armed violence.

Military tribunals also have jurisdiction over gang crimes, banditry, and highway robbery. The Prostitute in edéa interpreted these guidelines quite broadly and sometimes used military courts to try Prostituet concerning Prostitute in edéa edéq and political opponents. Military trials often were subject to irregularities and political influence. The legal system includes both national law and customary law, and many cases can be tried using either. Customary law was based upon the traditions of the ethnic group predominant in the region and was adjudicated by traditional authorities of that group.

In some areas, traditional courts reportedly have tried persons accused of such offenses as practicing witchcraft by subjecting them to various ordeals, such as drinking poison. There were no known incidents during the year. Customary courts may exercise jurisdiction only with the consent of both parties to a case. Either party has the right to have the case heard by a national rather than a customary court; customary law is deemed valid only when it is not "repugnant to natural justice, equity, and good conscience. Consequently, traditional courts remained important in rural areas and served as a primary means for settling disputes.

Most traditional courts permitted appeal of their decisions to traditional authorities of higher rank. The legal structure is influenced strongly by the French legal system, although in the two Anglophone provinces certain aspects of the Anglo-Saxon tradition apply. The Constitution provides for a fair public hearing in which the defendant is presumed innocent. Because appointed attorneys received little compensation, the quality of legal representation for indigent clients often was poor. The Bar Association and some voluntary organizations, such as the Cameroonian Association of Female Jurists, offered free assistance in some cases.

Trials normally were public, except in cases with political overtones and judged disruptive of social peace. Political bias often brought trials to a halt or resulted in an extremely long process, with extended court recesses. Powerful political or business interests appeared to enjoy virtual immunity from prosecution; some politically sensitive cases were settled with a payoff. Private journalists, political opponents, and critics of the Government often were charged or held and sometimes jailed under libel statutes considered by many observers as unduly restrictive of press freedom see Section 2. On February 4, Amadou Ali, the Minister of State for Justice and Keeper of the Seals, severely criticized the "evils of the judiciary" in his opening remarks during a meeting with head justices of the different courts of appeal.

He criticized violations of procedure, delayed judgements, and illegal detention, which he believed caused some observers to refer to court decisions as "judicial robbery" and gave the judiciary a bad image and weakened its powers. The Minister of State called on his collaborators to take a firm stance in fighting crime throughout the country. The Government held a number of political prisoners, including Anglophones; however, there were no reliable estimates of numbers held at year's end. Titus Edzoa, former Minister of Health and long-time presidential aide who had declared himself a candidate to oppose President Biya in the election, and Michel Thierry Atangana, his campaign manager, remained incarcerated at the maximum security gendarmerie headquarters with very limited access to visitors at year's end.

Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence The Constitution prohibits such actions; however, these rights were subject to the "higher interests of the State," and there were numerous, credible reports that police and gendarmes harassed citizens, conducted searches without warrants, and opened or seized mail. The Government continued to keep some opposition activists and dissidents under surveillance. Police sometimes punished family members and neighbors of criminal suspects. The law permits a police officer to enter a private home during daylight hours without a warrant if he is pursuing an inquiry and has reason to suspect that a crime has been committed.

The officer must have a warrant to make such a search after dark; however, a police officer may enter a private home at any time in pursuit of a criminal observed committing a crime. An administrative authority may authorize police to conduct neighborhood sweeps in search of suspected criminals or stolen or illegal goods without individual warrants. Such sweeps were conducted frequently. Sweeps involving forced entry into homes continued to occur in Yaounde and Douala, especially as part of Operation Harmattan see Section 1.

An increase in crime over the years has led to a dramatic increase in the number of such sweeps, called "kali-kali" or "raffles" in Douala and Yaounde, respectively. Typically, security forces seal off a neighborhood, systematically search homes, arrest persons arbitrarily, and seize suspicious or illegal articles. There were credible reports that security forces used these sweeps as a pretext to loot homes and arbitrarily arrest persons for minor offenses, such as not possessing identity cards see Section 2. For example, a police patrol raided the American Bar, a gambling and drinking establishment in Douala's Bepanda neighborhood.

Under the guise of a drug search, the patrol stripped naked the bar's patrons and confiscated money and cell phones. The patrol repeated the same operation 2 days later at Moulin Rouge, an inexpensive popular Douala hotel. In efforts to combat highwaymen, Colonel Pom and his special antigang gendarmerie unit used informants to identify and accuse persons of taking part in highway robbery see Section 1. Standards of proof for such accusations were nonexistent. Accusations occasionally have been used to pursue private grievances, and informants repeatedly have extorted money from innocent persons by threatening to accuse them of being bandits. The Douala Operational Command reportedly used informants in a similar fashion.

These informants often were former criminals or prison guards, and were used to target criminals who then were summarily executed see Section 1. At year's end, no compensation had been provided for houses that the Government destroyed along several of Yaounde's main roads in anticipation of the France-Africa Summit in January The Government also reportedly relocated Yaounde squatters, many of whom had mental disabilities, to the neighboring town of Mbalmayo for the duration of the summit. The squatters returned to Yaounde following the summit but were not allowed to reoccupy the site from which they were removed. There have been accusations, particularly in the North and Far North Provinces, of traditional chiefs arbitrarily evicting persons from their land.

There also were credible reports that security forces forced Baka out of their homes see Section 5. No further information was available on the May forcible eviction of Feu Bouba Toumba in Maroua at year's end. Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: Freedom of Speech and Press The Constitution provides for freedom of speech and of the press; however, the Government continued to impose limits on these rights. The Penal Code's libel laws specify that defamation, abuse, contempt, and dissemination of false news are offenses punishable by prison terms and heavy fines. The Government sometimes invoked these statutes to silence criticism of the Government and officials.

Unlike in the previous year, no one was tried for defamation. The Government publishes an official newspaper, the Cameroon Tribune. This paper occasionally implies criticism of the Government; however, its reporters did not report extensively on activities or political parties critical of the Government, overtly criticize the ruling party, or portray government programs in an unfavorable light. While approximately 60 private newspapers were published, only an estimated 20 were published on a regular basis.

Most continued to be highly critical of the Government and reported on controversial issues including corruption, human rights abuses, and economic policies. Journalists continued to be critical of the Government; however, some journalists practiced self-censorship. Despite the large number of newspapers in the country, the influence of print media on the average person was minimal. Circulation was low, distribution was problematic outside of Yaounde and Douala, and prices were high. Consequently, print media reached only a tiny percentage of the population, most notably the urban elite. The Government frequently prosecuted its critics in the print media through criminal libel laws.

These laws authorized the Government, at its discretion and request of the plaintiff, to criminalize a civil libel suit or to initiate a criminal libel suit in cases of alleged libel against the President and other high government officials. There were no new cases of libel during the year; however, the Government continued to pursue libel cases from previous years. The Government largely ceased to interfere with private newspaper distribution or seize print runs of private newspapers; however, security forces continued to restrict press freedom by harassing or abusing private print media journalists.

The Douala-based French-language publication Le Front Independent and the Littoral Province Office of Taxation reportedly negotiated an undisclosed deal during the year, and the newspaper remained open at year's end. There were fewer cases of harassment, abuse, and arrests of journalists reported than during the previous year. Although the police did not charge Mandio formally, press reports suggested he was arrested because of a story published disclosing a love affair between a senior official at the Presidency and a senior female civil servant. It also was alleged the arrest was due to his membership in the National Collective against Impunity CNIa civil association started in connection with the Bepanda 9 case.

During Mandio's arrest, the police searched his office and seized certain documents. He subsequently was released. The police claimed to be acting on instructions from the DGSN. The theater owner said the seizure was illegal because the movie had been sanctioned by the National Censorship Commission. According to press reports, the DGSN seized the movie because it inappropriately corresponded with the launching of Operation Harmattan. Abbia management's attempts to retrieve the film had not been successful by year's end. There were no further developments on the following cases: There were no known developments in the case of Severin Tchounkeu, publisher of the Douala-based French-language tri-weekly, La Nouvelle Expression.

U.S. Department of State

Eedéa remained the most important medium for reaching most citizens. There were approximately 2 million radios in the country. Television was less pervasive but still more influential Proshitute print media. Rural radio stations must submit an application Prostittute broadcast but were exempt from paying fees. Potential Ptostitute radio and Ptostitute broadcasters must submit a licensing eréa and pay a fee when the application is approved. The annual licensing fees potentially were prohibitive: The Ministry of Peostitute has received more than applications from potential un.

Five Yaounde-based private radio stations that previously had been broadcasting illegally and submitted applications to be licensed kn had Prostitute in edéa received licenses at year's end. A small number of radio stations previously broadcasting illegally, including Radio Soleil, which Prostifute from the Muslim Pdostitute of Yaounde, did not apply for licenses, claiming jn fees were exorbitant. The Government continued to allow these stations to broadcast. Although it has not obtained a license, Magic FM broadcast daily and had a wide audience. Radio Star and Radio Ventas still were not broadcasting at year's end.

There were several low-power, rural community kn stations Dating this shy girl dating this shy girl primarily by foreign Prostithte with extremely limited ib range. These stations, which broadcast educational programs Ddéa small audiences, were not allowed to discuss politics. The law Prlstitute broadcasting of foreign news services but requires the foreigners to partner with a national station. During the year, the Prosstitute continued to allow the Prostitute in edéa of international cable and satellite television broadcasts.

The state-owned CRTV broadcast on both television and radio Prostotute was the only officially recognized and fully Prostitutr broadcaster in the country. The Government sdéa taxes on all registered taxpaying citizens in order to finance CRTV programming, which allowed CRTV Prsotitute distinct advantage over new independent broadcasters. CRTV television and radio Prostitutw included a weekly Prostituhe, Direct Expression, which ostensibly fulfilled the Government's legal obligation to provide an opportunity for un political parties represented in the National Prostitute in edéa to present their views. The suspension edééa Prostitute in edéa strong protest from the SDF insisting that soccer should not be given precedence over the Proetitute politics.

High-tech communications, including the Internet, e-mail, and satellite phones were not widely available or heavily utilized; however, a few cybercafes provided occasional Internet or e-mail access in some urban areas. Prostituute were at least six domestic Internet service providers, some of which were privately Prostitutee. The Government has not attempted to restrict or Postitute these forms of communication. Although there were no legal restrictions on academic Prostitute in edéa, state security informants operated on university campuses.

Many professors believed that participation in opposition political parties Pristitute affect adversely their professional opportunities and advancement. Free political discussion at the University of Yaounde was hindered by Prkstitute presence of armed government security forces, and some university students were harassed. The University failed Prostitute in edéa validate Protitute of the students' previous courses, which barred them Prostitute in edéa registering for the third year curriculum. The students passed out anti-University literature and subsequently became suspects in March and June Prostjtute incidents that destroyed University property. The students were held in police Prostitute in edéa for 2 days and released pending further interrogation by the prosecutor.

There eréa no new developments at year's end. Freedom of Edééa Assembly and Association The law provides for freedom of assembly; however, the Government restricted this right in practice. The law requires organizers of public meetings, demonstrations, or processions to notify officials in advance but does not edéx prior government approval of Prsotitute assemblies and does not authorize the Government to suppress Free sex dating in polo il 61064 assemblies that it has not approved Prosittute advance. However, officials routinely have asserted that this provision of the Penal Prlstitute implicitly authorized the Government to grant or deny permission for public assembly.

Consequently, the Government often has not granted permits for assemblies organized Pfostitute persons or groups critical of the I and repeatedly used force to suppress public assemblies for which it has not issued permits. There were no other bans on public rallies or marches during the year. There were no other reports that security forces forcibly disrupted demonstrations during the year. Eéda action Prostitutee was taken against Prostitute in edéa members of Prostitute in edéa security forces who forcibly dispersed demonstrations in and in Prostitute in edéa The law provides Freinds dating freedom of association, and the Government generally respected this right in practice; however, there were some exceptions.

The wdéa for government recognition of a political party, a prerequisite for Prostitut political activities, were not onerous. More than political parties operated legally, together with a Prostitute in edéa and growing number of civic associations. Freedom of Religion The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respected this right Prostjtute practice; however, Prostitkte were some exceptions. In general the Law on Religious Congregations governs relations between Prrostitute Government and religious groups.

Religious groups must be approved and registered with the Prostitute in edéa of Territorial Administration to function legally; there were no reports that the Government Prostigute to register any group. It was illegal for a religious group Prostitjte operate without official recognition, but the law prescribes no specific penalties for doing so. The approval process usually takes several years, due primarily to administrative delays. The only religious groups known to be registered jn Christian Prostitute in edéa Muslim groups and the Baha'i Pristitute additional groups may be registered.

The Ministry stated that the number of registered religious denominations was The Government did not register Prostitute in edéa religious edéz on the grounds that the practice of traditional religion was a private concern observed by members of a particular ethnic or kinship group or the residents of a particular Prostitjte. Government officials disapproved of and questioned criticism of the Government by religious institutions and leaders; however, there were no reports that officials used force to suppress such Prostigute. The sites and personnel of religious institutions were not exempt from the human rights abuses committed by government security forces; however, there were Prostituet reports Prosttute such abuse than in previous years.

The Prostittute of witchcraft is a criminal offense under the law; however, individuals generally were prosecuted for this offense only in conjunction with another offense, such as murder. Witchcraft traditionally has been a common explanation for diseases of unknown cause. On March 25, 6-year-old Manuella Cynthia Selam Tiave allegedly was tortured and killed by her mother and two other members of the Malla'a sect. The alleged purpose of the "session" was to follow the prescription of the sect's goddess and rid the girl of a demon that possessed her soul. Elimbi remained in detention at year's end. There were no developments in the May case of the shooting death of Father Henri Djeneka.

In the northern provinces, especially in rural areas, societal discrimination by Muslims against persons who practiced traditional indigenous religions was strong and widespread. Some Christians in rural areas of the north complained of discrimination by Muslims; however, no specific incidents or violence stemming from religious discrimination were reported, and the reported discrimination may reflect ethnic as much as religious differences. For a more detailed discussion see the International Religious Freedom Report. Freedom of Movement within the Country, Foreign Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation The law provides for these rights; however, in practice security forces routinely impeded domestic travel.

Roadblocks and checkpoints manned by security forces have proliferated in cities and most highways making road travel both time-consuming and costly, since extortion of small bribes was commonplace at these checkpoints. Police frequently stopped travelers to check identification documents, vehicle registrations, and tax receipts as security and immigration control measures. During the year, security forces injured persons they thought were evading checkpoints. For example, on April 10, a gendarme shot year-old Francis Akondi Ndanle, a Bamenda, North West Province, taxi driver that he thought was trying to evade a checkpoint.

Although the gendarme was not arrested, the North West Gendarmerie Legion conducted an investigation, the results of which were unknown at year's end. There were credible reports that police arrested and beat individuals who failed to carry their identification cards see Section 1. During the year, authorities confiscated the passports of several human rights activists see Section 4. For example, on June 16, Douala airport police confiscated the passport, national identification card, and driving license of human rights activist and publisher of Le Messager newspaper, Pius Njawe, when he returned from a trip to England. No justification was given. On June 19, Njawe's papers were returned to him.

There were no curfews imposed during the year. The law provides for the granting of asylum and refugee status in accordance with the U. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its Protocol. The Government cooperated with the office of the U. The Government provided first asylum to persons who arrived at the border without documentation but who could show a valid claim to refugee status. In February approximately 21, Fulanis fleeing Nigeria entered the country. Approximately 5, to 6, Chadians were repatriated during the year.

The office was expected to reopen in early see Section 4. Some illegal immigrants were subjected to harsh treatment and imprisonment. Communities of Nigerians and Chadians often were the targets of police and gendarme harassment. During raids members of the security forces often extorted money from those who did not have regular residence permits or those who did not have valid receipts for store merchandise. There were no confirmed reports of the forced return of persons to a country where they feared persecution. Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government The Constitution provides that citizens have the right to change their government; however, dominance of the political process by the President and his party severely limited the ability of citizens to exercise this right.

Both international and domestic observers widely criticized and viewed as fraudulent the presidential and legislative elections. In these elections, administered by the Ministry of Territorial Administration, members of largely pro-opposition ethnic groups and inhabitants of largely pro-opposition localities effectively were prevented from registering and voting, registration and vote counting procedures were not transparent, a public announcement of results was delayed, and the number of votes cast in some pro-government areas exceeded the adult population.

The amendments to the Constitution retained a strongly centralized system of power based on presidential authority; however, the amendments imposed a limit of two 7-year terms on the President. They provided for the creation of a partially elected 70 percent and partially appointed 30 percent Senate along with the creation of a similarly constituted set of provincial assemblies with limited power over local affairs. The Senate and regional council amendments were not yet implemented by year's end. In the National Assembly, no bills other than government bills have been enacted sincealthough the Assembly sometimes has not enacted legislation proposed by the Government.

Elections were held by balloting that officially was described as secret but permitted voters to leave the polling place with evidence of how they voted. At polling places on election day, registered citizens received a package containing one card for each candidate. While alone inside a closed booth, citizens chose a ballot and sealed it into an envelope. Citizens then deposited the sealed envelope into a ballot box outside the booth. In previous elections, citizens could not dispose of their ballots privately; however, during the legislative and municipal elections, polling officials provided trash bags so that voters could dispose of unused ballots privately before exiting the closed booth.

President Biya's October reelection was marred by serious procedural flaws as well as a boycott by the three major opposition parties. While the boycott made the outcome a foregone conclusion, most observers nonetheless considered the election to be neither free nor fair. Election irregularities especially were egregious in opposition strongholds where boycotting opposition activists were not present to monitor voting procedures. The Supreme Court declared President Biya the winner with The President's control over the country's administrative apparatus was extensive.

The President appoints all Ministers including the Prime Minister. The President also directly appoints the governors of each of the 10 provinces. The governors in turn wield considerable power in the electoral process, interpreting and implementing the laws. The President also has the power to appoint important lower level members of the 58 provincial administrative structures, including the senior divisional officers, the divisional officers, and the district chiefs. The governors and senior divisional officers wield considerable authority within the areas under their jurisdiction, including the authority to ban political meetings that they deem likely to threaten public order see Section 2.

They also may detain persons for renewable periods of 15 days to combat banditry and other security threats see Section 1. The right of citizens to choose their local governments remained circumscribed. The Government has increased greatly the number of municipalities run by presidentially appointed delegates, who have authority over elected mayors. Delegate-run cities included most of the provincial capitals and some division capitals in pro-opposition provinces; however, this practice was nonexistent in the southern provinces, which tended to support the CPDM.

However, in municipalities with elected mayors, local autonomy was limited since elected local governments relied on the central Government for most of their revenue and administrative personnel. In the President signed a law that provides for the creation of the National Election Observatory NEO to supervise electoral procedure from the registration of voters to the collection of reports after the polls; all polling stations were expected to have a representative from the NEO. The law also provides that the NEO should have a presidentially appointed national office to appoint local offices at the levels of provinces, divisions, subdivisions, and districts.

A presidential decree appointed the NEO's members in October The President postponed scheduled January municipal elections to June, ostensibly to give the NEO time to ensure free and fair elections. The NEO demonstrated a high level of political independence, facilitated voter registration, and encouraged free media access for opposition candidates. The President postponed the elections for another week after the opening of polls on June 23 since the administration failed to distribute electoral materials. Legislative and municipal elections were held on June The postponement of the elections contributed to low voter turnout.

The election results largely reflected the will of the people; however, there was much disorganization and some fraud. The Catholic Church, which observed the elections along with NEO, reported several election irregularities, including corruption, ghost polling stations, and discriminatory voter registration. NEO also admitted to administrative deficiencies in voter registration. Following the election, six opposition parties reported massive fraud and boycotted the municipal councils and the National Assembly. The Court rescheduled elections in these divisions to occur within 60 days; they took place on September On September 7, the Court also annulled the results for municipal elections in 17 districts due to violence, consisting mostly of fighting between political party members and polling station or ruling party officials, looting, and intimidation in those elections that largely were won by the CPDM.

There were no laws that specifically prohibit women or members of minorities from participating in government, the political process, or other areas of public life. Women held 16 of seats in the National Assembly, 3 of 50 cabinet posts, and a few of the higher offices within the major political parties, including the CPDM. Members of some of the other ethnic groups held 39 cabinet seats, compared with 16 cabinet positions held by members of the President's ethnic group. Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights A number of domestic and international human rights groups generally operated without government restriction, investigating and publishing findings on human rights cases; however, government officials repeatedly impeded the effectiveness of human rights NGOs during the year by limiting access to prisoners, refusing to share information, and increasingly threatening and using violence against personnel of human rights NGOs see Section 1.

The activities of virtually all of these groups were limited by a shortage of funds and trained personnel. Observers have criticized the country's NGO laws for giving the Government loopholes with which it could deny authorization to operate or eliminate NGOs by decree. Many of these groups held seminars and workshops on various aspects of human rights. Math was arrested on his way to Ireland, where he was scheduled to deliver a speech on human rights in Cameroon. He was detained for 5 hours and his passport was confiscated. While they were able to meet with local NGOs and a representative of the government's NCHRF, the group had no other contacts with government officials.

In June Mary Robinson, the U. High Commissioner for Human Rights visited the country. The government-established NCHRF, although hampered by a shortage of funds, conducted a number of investigations into human rights abuses, visited prisons, and organized several human rights seminars aimed at judicial officials, security personnel, and other government officers. Although the Commission infrequently criticized the Government's human rights abuses publicly, its staff intervened with government officials in specific cases of human rights harassment by security forces, attempted to stop Friday arrests see Section 1.

The law prohibits the NCHRF from publishing information on specific human rights cases; however, it may and does submit reports on specific alleged abuses to the authorities directly involved, along with recommendations for improving conditions or punishing violators. In April the NCHRF sent a team to Bafoussam to investigate the alleged disappearance of nine bandits who were detained in gendarmerie cells see Section 1. Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Disability, Language, or Social Status The Constitution does not explicitly forbid discrimination based on race, language, or social status.

The Constitution prohibits discrimination based on sex and mandates that "everyone has equal rights and obligations;" however, the Government did not enforce these provisions effectively. Women Domestic violence against women was common.

Women's rights' Prostitute in edéa reported that the law does not impose effective penalties against men who commit acts of Prostitute in edéa violence. There were no gender-specific assault laws, despite the fact that women were the predominant victims of domestic violence. Spousal abuse was not a legal ground for divorce. In cases Prostitute in edéa sexual assault, a Prostitute in edéa family or village often imposed direct, summary punishment on the suspected perpetrator through extralegal means, ranging from destruction of property to beating. While there were no reliable statistics on violence against women, a large number of newspaper reports indicated that the phenomenon was widespread.

Female genital mutilation FGM was not practiced widely. However, it continued to be practiced in 3 of the 10 provinces, including some areas of Far North, Eastern, and Southwest Provinces. Internal migration contributed to the spread of FGM to different parts of the country. FGM usually was Prostitute in edéa on infants and preadolescent girls. The Government has criticized the practice; however, no law prohibits FGM. Despite constitutional provisions recognizing women's rights, women did not enjoy the same rights and privileges as men. Civil law theoretically provides equal status and rights for men and women; however, no legal definition of discrimination exists, and some points of civil law were prejudicial to women.

The law allows a husband to oppose his wife's right to work in a separate profession if the protest is made in the interest of the household and the family. While the law gives a woman the freedom to organize her own business, the law allows a husband to end his wife's commercial activity by notifying the clerk of commerce tribunal of his opposition based upon the family's interest. Partly for this reason, some employers required a husband's permission before hiring female employees. Civil law offered a more equal standard than customary law, which was far more discriminatory against women, since in many regions a woman customarily was regarded as the property of her husband.

Because of the importance attached to customs and traditions, laws protecting women often were not respected. Despite the law that fixes a minimum age of 15 years for a bride, many families married young girls by the age of 12 years. In the customary law of some ethnic groups, husbands not only maintained complete control over family property, but also could divorce their wives in a traditional court without being required to provide either verifiable justification or alimony. Polygyny was permitted by law and tradition, but polyandry was not. In cases of divorce, the husband's wishes determined the custody of children over the age of 6.

While a man may be convicted of adultery only if the sexual act takes place in his home, a female may be convicted without respect to venue.

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