Attacks on OFFGO office and farms

Serious human rights violations hinder the continuation of our development programs. Community members have had their livelihoods destroyed and their lives torn apart, with no sign of justice, accountability, compensation or redress. The attacks include: (1) total demolition of our farms, farmers not allowed to farm, heavily armed men regularly enter OFFGO farms (2016-2020, ongoing); (2) grenade attack targeting OFFGO office (2019).

Available documentation:

The UN Secretary-General documents reprisals (.docx or .pdf) (or selected pages (.png): 16, 17) that OFFGO staff have faced for engaging with the UN. Publication of September 8 2020. 

International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), May 2020 report (pages 25-28). The International Service for Human Rights is an independent, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights. They achieve this by supporting human rights defenders, strengthening human rights systems, and leading and participating in coalitions for human rights change.

UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, A/HRC/43/51/Add.3, report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council, annual report, 24 February 2020. Pages 1, 10 and 11.

UN OHCHR mandate holders, two letters to the Government of Cameroon: September 18 2019, available online and May 29 2019, available online. The UN OHCHR mandate holders (Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council) are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. The system is a central element of the United Nations human rights machinery and covers all human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political, and social. In the context of the 2011 review of its work and functioning, the UN Human Rights Council reaffirmed the obligation of States to cooperate with the OHCHR Special Procedures,  and the integrity and independence of Special Procedures.

Front Line Defenders, Defenders-at-Risk Active Cases, three publications, June 26 2019, June 4 2019, May 11 2020. Front Line Defenders was founded in Dublin in 2001 with the specific aim of protecting human rights defenders at risk (HRDs), people who work, non-violently, for any or all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Front Line Defenders addresses the protection needs identified by HRDs themselves.

The National Human Rights Institution of Cameroon, 2 reports:

The National Human Rights Institution of Cameroon, Sub commission on civil and political rights, adopted on October 31 2018, “Au sujet des conditions de repatriement du consultant belge Jan Joris Cappelle du territoire du Cameroun et des allegations de violation des droits des membres de l’association OFFGO” [FR (original)]/[EN (translation)] and [[FR] correspondence letter] 

The National Human Rights Institution of Cameroon, Report No 0998/17/NCHRF/RO/RBH/RS/nan. Report from the NCHRF North West Antenna, and adopted on 10 May 2017, “A report of the field investigation mission to Tudig and Mbengwi, of Momo Division, in connection with the repatriation of Mr Cappelle Jan Joris on the 13th of May 2016, a Belgian, conducted on the 17th and 18th of April 2017” [EN]

ProtectDefenders.eu: the European Union Human Rights Defenders mechanism, established to protect defenders at high risk and facing the most difficult situations worldwide. Led by a Consortium of 12 NGOs active in the field of Human Rights. Three publications:

March 31, 2017: Cameroon: Judicial harassment and acts of intimidation against several members of the Organic Farming for Gorillas (OFFGO)

June 20, 2017: Cameroon: Ongoing judicial harassment targeting members of the Organic Farming for Gorillas (OFFGO)

April 20, 2018: Cameroon: Ongoing judicial harassment and death threats targeting OFFGO members

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), with contributions to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights:  

May 12, 2017: 60th session ACHPR: Intervention on Human Rights Defenders in Africa

April 25 – May 9, 2018, Contribution of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH (the International Federation for Human Rights), In the framework of their partnership, The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 62nd Ordinary Session, Nouakchott, Mauritania