trumped up charges; illegal expulsion

Sources: Jeune Afrique, Ecomatin, Viettel, Cameroon State Human Rights Commission NCHRF, Inter-Ministerial Commission Cameroon, RDPC, Business in Cameroon, declarations made by alleged torture victims

Jan Cappelle has the Belgian nationality. After entering Cameroon on June 12 2015, Jan Cappelle received a Cameroon residency permit on July 21 2015. Since his arrival, Jan Cappelle stayed permanently in Mbengwi Sub Division, until he got forcibly expulsed from Cameroon on May 13 2016. Jan Cappelle works closely together with the traditional Kings in Mbengwi. As tradition dictates, a King rules the Chiefdom and most of the chiefdoms have a patrilineal system. Jan Cappelle and the local representative of the traditional King of Tudig signed on June 29 2015 an agreement on the establishment of a farmers association and the development and management of two farms in Tudig.

One of the initiator of a number of human rights violations against Jan Cappelle is Mr Aminkeng Charles Formin, Divisional Officer of Mbengwi Sub Division from January 18 2011 to May 22 2017. A Divisional Officer represents the Government of Cameroon and his Ministers. The Cameroon State Human Rights body NCHRF observes that Mr Aminkeng intentionally and maliciously targeted Jan Cappelle as reprisal in promoting and striving to realise and protect human rights.

Mr Aminkeng has been the subject of numerous petitions and letters, which were send by traditional rulers (‘Kings’) in Mbengwi to the Officer’s immediate higher authorities, what resulted in an investigation by his higher authorities. The complainants accuse the Officer of violating the land laws in Cameroon, of corruption, use of intimidation and harassment against rural communities, inciting land conflicts and abuse of power in his duty as administrator. Jan Cappelle participated in the redaction of one of those letters. Instead of constructively participating in the process, Mr Aminkeng levied trumped charges against Jan Cappelle, with the intent to demonstrate that, contrary to the content in the complaints, not him but Jan Cappelle was at the origin of reported land conflicts. Mr Aminkeng orchestrated these acts together with the Legal Department in Mbengwi, with the purpose to forcibly remove Jan Cappelle from Cameroon soil.

The administrative and judicial authorities in Mbengwi did not acted alone. The Cameroon State Human Rights body NCHRF finds out that Jan Cappelle got removed from Cameroon territory on May 13 2016, abusively and secretly, by a group of officials from the Cameroon General Delegation for Presidential Security (DGSN), the Presidential Directorate General for External Research (DGRE) and the Criminal Police of the North West Region of Cameroon. They operated together with Cameroon businessman Baba Danpullo.

The Cameroon State Human Rights body NCHRF opened its investigation into the matter in April 2017. It took until October 2018 to make its final conclusions. 

There has been no communication nor slightest indication that Jan Cappelle, during his stay in Cameroon, posed a threat to national security or to public order. In fact, when the Divisional Officer of Mbengwi Sub Division accused Jan Cappelle of being implicated in land conflicts, the Public Service Mbengwi communicated on March 8 2016 in clear terms that Jan Cappelle’s activities posed no threat to national security. The National Gendarmerie recommended to closed another complaint for want of evidence.