Southern Cameroons: Refugee to Face Beatings, Jail and Torture
Below is an article published by the Wales Online:
A Cameroon refugee who claims he was tortured after being arrested in the African state, believes he will be imprisoned indefinitely if he is sent back there.
Charity volunteer Jean-Pierre Gueutchue, who lives in Roath, is currently being held in an English detention centre facing deportation back to his home country.
He was arrested in Cameroon after being found handing out leaflets for a group in the south of the French-speaking country.
He claims he was beaten and imprisoned after his arrest in July 2003, before fleeing to Wales after escaping from the jail.
Mr Gueutchue – who hopes to become a policeman if he is allowed to stay in Britain – claims officers hit him with a machete and whipped him with electric cables before freeing him.
Over seven days he claims he was tied to a chair, assaulted with a knife and kicked until he bled and was knocked senseless.
He eventually escaped after his uncle bribed a guard in a prison hospital.
Now 27-year-old Mr Gueutchue, who suffers post-traumatic disorder and has Hepatitis C, fears he will be subject to the same horrific punishment if he is returned to Cameroon.
He is currently being held at the Campsfield House detention centre in Kidlington, near Oxford.
The 27-year-old said: “If I go back to Cameroon they will just put me in prison because of the political activity. If they put you in prison because of political activity, you do not know when you will be released.”
He was arrested for giving away flyers promoting the Southern Cameroons National Council.
The peaceful organisation – its motto is “The force of argument, not the argument of force” – seeks independence for the English-speaking Southern Cameroons from the French-speaking Republic of Cameroon.
Fighting back tears, he told the Echo: “I was beaten very badly. When they beat me there was a lot of blood because they were kicking me on my legs and all over my body.
“They beat me on the soles of my feet with a big knife, a machete. All my body is covered with scars.”
A medical report commissioned by his solicitors confirms he has as many as 25 scars, as long as 1.5ins on each leg, eight similar scars on his right arm and five more on his left. It says his injuries are “highly consistent” or “consistent” with his story, concluding there is a “reasonable likelihood that this man has been subjected to torture”.
And it says: “He rarely gets more than five hours sleep per night, often less. He suffers flashbacks and intrusive memories of his experiences in detention in Cameroon. His short-term memory is poor and he frequently mislays everyday objects and misses appointments. He startles on hearing sirens or other loud noises.”
Now Jean-Pierre is desperate to get back to his home in Roath, Cardiff, where he was doing volunteer work at a branch of the British Red Cross and helping people learn English.
Campaigners No Borders South Wales are fighting for Jean-Pierre to be allowed to stay in the UK.
A planned deportation in July  was cancelled on apparent health grounds. At the moment no new date has been set to remove Jean-Pierre.
The Home Office declined to comment on individual cases. A spokesman said: “Anyone with no right to be in the UK should leave. If they refuse to leave we will enforce their removal.”