Protect Human Rights Defenders. State Intelligence Agency

Human Rights Defender Jan Cappelle has been subjected to multiple human rights violations:

• false reports and statements by State Intelligence agency
• criminalization
arbitrary arrest
abusive detention
intimidation during detention
no access to lawyers during detention
forced expulsion
no access to justice

in retaliation because Mr Jan wants a better life for the traditional farming and nomadic livestock communities in Cameroon. He exposed land grabbing in the North West Region of Cameroon. For their assist to Mr Jan, OFFGO members and supporters suffered harm through damages caused to them by local administrative and judicial authorities.  

These violations are committed by persons and authorities that are expected to protect individuals and their rights: the National Police service of Cameroon (known as DGSN) and the Cameroonian State intelligence agency (known as DGRE). The sense of trust that should have existed has been seriously betrayed. These National Authorities have created an atmosphere of impunity which may give rise to further human rights violations. The National Human Rights Institution of Cameroon reports on how the Cameroonian State intelligence agency (DGRE) bypassed the authority of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice, which may seen as undermining the democratic order.

Private individuals involved in the violations: multi-millionaire and business magnate Baba Danpullo (Danpullo Group, Ndawara Tea Estate, with shareholder stakes in e.g. Nexttel, Sodecoton). 

The following organisations and institutions want to see the human rights perpetrators brought to justice for the violations against Human Rights Defender Jan Cappelle:

OHCHR mandate holders, two letters:

September 18 2019, available online

May 29 2019, in CMR/3/2019, available online

The 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. It also reaffirmed the principles of cooperation, transparency and accountability and the role of the system of Special Procedures in enhancing the capacity of the Human Rights Council to address human rights situations. Member States confirmed their strong opposition to reprisals against persons cooperating with the United Nations and its human rights mechanism and representatives.

Front Line Defenders, Defenders-at-Risk Active Cases, two publications, available online, June 26 2019 and June 4 2019. 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, two 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]

Centre for Environment and Development (Cameroon), Press Release: Belgian human rights defender illegally expulsed from Cameroon, January 18 2019 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

IAPL Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers:

April 26, 2018: Cameroon/LRWC: Immediately End Judicial Harassment and Guarantee Protection of Jan Capelle, Elvis Brown and other OFFGO members | Letter