It added that soldiers tortured, assaulted and sexually exploited Nigerian asylum seekers and denied them access to the UN refugee agency. The rights group claimed Cameroon deported, often violently, tens of thousands of the refugees since early 2015.
“The Cameroonian military torture and abuse of Nigerian refugees seems to be driven by an arbitrary decision to punish them for Boko Haram attacks in Cameroon and to discourage Nigeriansfrom seeking asylum,” said HRW Associate Refugee Director, Gerry Simpson. Boko Haram had posed steady threat to communities in north-east Nigeria and launched offensives in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
The group’s goal is to enforce strict interpretation of Islamic law, known as sharia. Since 2009, tens of thousands of people have died in the hands of Sunni fundamentalists in the region.
According to the UN, an estimated 2.7 million people fled their homes due to Boko Haram.