Six members of the Cameroonian President’s close security circle have been arrested and prosecuted in Geneva for assaulting an RTS journalist, Tribune de Genève reports
Biya’s bodyguards, according to reports, were convicted on Wednesday, July 3, by Attorney General, Olivier Jornot.
“Two bodyguards were sentenced to three months in prison, suspended sentence, for coercion and illegitimate appropriation of an object (the journalist’s mobile phone) without the intention of enrichment. The other four received a four-month suspended prison sentence for the same offence, plus an offence of property damage (the journalist’s broken glasses),” further reports Tribune de Genève.
The five men and a woman were arrested on Tuesday morning, but the information was made known by the public prosecutor’s office on Wednesday.
This case follows a June 26 incident when the bodyguards of Cameroon’s long-reigning President manhandled Adrien Krause, a journalist from RTS, covering an anti-Biya protest in front of the Intercontinental Hotel. The demonstration outside the hotel was staged by Members of Brigade Anti Sardinards, BAS.
Reports hold that CCTV showed images where a dozen men in the group gathered on the public road. While the protesters fled, the journalist remained at the scene. The security service immobilised him and pulled out his bag, grabbed his phone, his equipment and his wallet and his glasses thrown to the ground and crushed.
Tribune de Genève reported that two public security assistants dedicated to diplomatic security did not respond. The Geneva authorities justify their passivity by their numerical inferiority. As for the RTS journalist, he was able to retrieve his belongings several hours after. The videos he shot were not deleted but he suffered from bruises before filing a criminal complaint.
Meanwhile, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs has described the attack as “totally unacceptable.”
According to media reports, the five men and a woman guarding Cameroon’s President Paul Biya, who has been in power for 37 years, were arrested by the Geneva Judicial Police on Tuesday, June 2.
Geneva Prosecutor, Olivier Jornot, is alleged to have ordered for the detention of security men following a lawsuit filed by a Swiss journalist with RTS, Adrien Krause.
The men and a woman are said to have molested Adrien Krause, confiscated his working equipment, while he was covering the anti-Biya protest organised by Brigard Anti Sardinard, BAS, on June 26 outside the Intercontinental Hotel, where 86-year-old Biya is lodging.
Reports hold that they appeared before the Prosecutor on Wednesday, June 3. The reports also hold that the woman was later released due to her possession of a diplomatic passport.
The molestation of the RTS journalist led to the summoning of Cameroon’s Ambassador to Switzerland last week.
The Swiss Government is said to have condemned the brutality meted on its national, saying that freedom of information is for all.
Unconfirmed Names Of Those Arrested Paul Atangana, Christian Owona, Martin Onana, Jean Ondoa, Clement Fouda, Joseph Mvondo