Lawmakers in Cameroon, a country currently battling to stop the advance of Nigerian Boko Haram militants on its territory, is set vote in the coming days to decide whether to impose the death penalty on those found guilty of involvement in acts of terrorism. Reuters was there:
Opposition figures accused the government of seeking to use the proposed law, which they say is too broad in scope, to criminalize opposition to President Paul Biya’s 32-year rule.
Boko Haram fighters have made repeated incursions into the rugged Far North region of Cameroon in recent months. They have clashed with Cameroonian soldiers sent to the border to stop them and are blamed for dozens of deaths and kidnappings there.
Cameroonian officials also fear the Islamist group is targeting young men in the impoverished north for recruitment.
“The draft law provides the ultimate penalty, the death penalty, for anyone who personally, in complicity or under coercion commits a terrorist act,” Parliament Speaker Cavaye Yeguie Djibril said.
Though Cameroon has not carried out an execution since 1997, according to Amnesty International, the bill received loud applause from some members of parliament when it was introduced on Tuesday.
But some in the opposition see it as an attempt by the president to tighten his grip on power.