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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Greenpeace International and Greenpeace Africa Call for the Immediate Release of Environmental Activists Detained in Cameroon
AMSTERDAM - November 16 - Greenpeace International and Greenpeace Africa are appalled at the arbitrary arrest of prominent local NGO workers in the southwest of Cameroon and are calling for their immediate release.
Nasako Besingi, the director of Struggle to Economise Future Environment (SEFE), was detained without charge on November 14 with three of his colleagues in the town of Mundemba.
Besingi has been a vocal and peaceful critic of the plans and working practices of US-based company Herakles Farms, whose large-scale palm oil plantation project in the region would cause widespread environmental destruction and threaten the livelihoods of residents in an area home to vital biodiversity.
The activities of SEFE have always been based on legal court actions and peaceful social dialogue around the only real tangible asset of people in the region – land.
"The proposed plantation by Herakles Farms is the wrong project in the wrong place and residents and individuals opposed to it should be free to voice their concerns in a peaceful manner," said Michael Obrien-Onyeka, Greenpeace Africa’s Executive Director.
"The detention of Mr. Besingi and his colleagues is in violation of Cameroonian law and of the internationally protected rights to freedom of expression and liberty and security of person."
Greenpeace is calling for the release of the four people being detained and for the Cameroonian authorities to respect the rule of law and individuals' human rights.