Amnesty International (AI) on Friday said 59 opposition supporters, including six women, were severely beaten and ill-treated while questioned by security forces in Cameroon.
AI in a new report alleged that the 59 opposition supporters were beaten with sticks and forced into humiliating positions at the State Secretariat for Defence (SED), in the capital Yaounde.
The human rights organisation alleged that the supporters were arrested on June 1, during a planned peaceful protest in the capital, Younde.
“Like many other unofficial detention centres across Cameroon, the SED has a reputation for torturing detainees. These repressive and brutal tactics to silence dissent must end, said Amnesty West and Central Africa Director, Marie-Evelyne Barry.
“We were beaten in the ears and on our bodies. They then forced us to walk like a duck in the mud.
“After our release, I spent more than a week at the hospital as I had fractures, bruises and trauma,” one detainee told the organisation after his release.
Amnesty also called for the release of opposition leader Maurice Kamto, the leader of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC).
It also called for the release of no fewer than 100 of his supporters who were arbitrarily arrested six months ago while peacefully protesting against the government of President Paul Biya.
The former French colony had been troubled by unrest since its two main English-speaking areas, North-West and South-West Regions, announced in 2016 that they wished to secede and form a new country called Ambazonia.
English-speaking part of the former French colony have long complained of being treated like second-class citizens and getting less government funding.