Cameroonian authorities have accused local 'Quranic schools' of being 'terrorist training camps,' 43 teachers and 84 children have been taken under custody, Amnesty International told AP on Friday.
Amnesty International warned Cameroon to set children free immediately, indicating that most of the detained children were under 15, which is the age at which they can face criminal charges under a regional human rights charter of which Cameroon is a signatory.
“Cameroonian authorities have been holding 84 children — some as young as 5 years old — for months without charge after officials accused their teachers at Quranic schools of running terrorist training camps,” Amnesty International said Friday.
"Detaining young children will do nothing to protect Cameroonians living under the threat of Boko Haram," Amnesty International deputy regional director for West and Central Africa Steve Cockburn said.
“A news conference will be held on Monday,” a government spokesperson responded to a question about the report.
"They said they would dig our grave and throw us into it. We were scared," one child told the Amnesty.
"Then they roughed up our teachers, some among them had blood all over their faces,” the child added.
“Food is now running low at the center where the children have been detained in the northern town of Maroua,” Amnesty said.
Cameroon has started a campaign against Boko Haram by preventing people in the far north from joining the group.
Gathering all Muslim leaders in Yaounde city capital, Cameroon authorities started training them to identify Boko Haram promoters.