Wednesday, September 2, 2009

CHRAPA: Catholics against Maputo Protocol

CHRAPA Indicts Catholics for Demonstrating Against Cameroon Endorsement of Maputo Protocol. The Bamenda-based Centre for Human Rights and Peace Advocacy (CHRAPA) has lashed out at Douala Catholic Church authorities for demonstrating against Cameroon’s endorsement of the famous Maputo Protocol.

In a two-page Press release signed by CHRAPA Executive Director, Chongsi, Joseph he rejoiced that CHRAPA was one of the first to carry out findings together with CAMASEJ – North West on the possibility of Cameroon signing such a Protocol. Welcoming it as a mark of advancement in the elimination of all forms of discrimination against Cameroonian women, CHRAPA called on government to organize mass popularization programs on the Maputo protocol so that not only women but also the rest of Cameroonians should know what the protocol states.

“We regret that so many well meaning quarters are already tearing themselves up on what Maputo is not, especially on its article.” It opined that more space be developed on the public realm to be developed on the public realm to discuss the Maputo Protocol rather than outright condemnation because the protocol is so specific on circumstances under which abortion could be allowed in Africa.

Harping on the French Catholic NGO’s revelations decoding of President Biya’s supposed wealth, CHRAPA noted that if Biya is today acclaimed as the most secretive President on earth it would be a contradiction that the whole state machinery be mobilized to send out word that they know Biya so well that he cannot have wealth stashed abroad and at the same time launching the Biya Code which says that he is mysterious and so secretive for people to know everything about his dealings.
According to the release, “instead of completely disregarding the legitimacy of an independent NGO report, it should be taken into consideration and used to begin an inquiry to prove or disprove the NGO’s report”.

On ELECAM and preparation for upcoming elections, CHRAPA drew the attention of National and international communities to the fact that there is already gross violation of the electoral laws in force. It averred that Cameroon’s electoral laws stipulate that voter registers are opened from January 1 each year. “But we are in July with no voter register opened. This frustrates the work CHRAPA has been doing down the field since December 28 with the intention of getting as many Cameroonians as possible pick interest in the electoral process by registering and eventually voting”.

CHRAPA urged journalists to find more interest in reporting human rights issues. It hailed journalists for previous efforts in reporting human rights violations but regretted that there has been a high rate of human rights fatigue in the media today.

By Chungfu Richard

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