PENN TERENCE KAHN: Ambazonian Teacher-Activist Faces Death Penalty or Life Imprisonment in Cameroon’s Military Court System

Teacher and activist Penn Terence Khan and others refuse to voluntarily go to court for further proceedings in the on going military trial against them by the French neo-colonial regime in Cameroon, in civil disobedience for the travesty of justice visited upon them thus far, and they need your support!

On 23 March 2018, Penn Terrance refused to attend his sentencing hearing in the Yaounde Military Tribunal as an act of protest. The hearing was delayed until 27 March. On 26 March, he delivered a signed letter declaring that he will no longer cooperate with the travesty of justice that he is being subject to by the Yaounde Military Tribunal. The letter was given to the Prosecuting Officer.

Penn Terence is taking on significant risk with this action. He faces the possibility of the Death Penalty or Life Imprisonment for fabricated charges related to his solidarity with the struggle for Ambazonian human rights. He has done nothing but speak up for justice and equality. We need the Cameroonian regime to know that the world is watching!

A teacher by profession and law student at the time of his arrest in January 2017, Penn Terence has been an advocate for the integrity of the autonomous English-language educational system in the occupied territory of Ambazonia. For years, the Cameroonian government has gradually defunded the public structures, especially the Confederation of Anglophone Parents’ Teachers’ Association of Cameroon (CAPTAC), that administer this system. This policy creates a caste system in which Ambazonian students are tracked for unskilled labor positions and prevented from thriving, and it is part of a broader effort to eliminate grassroots participation in the educational system which has been a hallmark of the Ambazonian system for decades. In response, an overwhelming majority of teachers in Ambazonia have become activists in defense of their systems.

Penn Terence served as the vice-principal of the Cameroon College of Arts Science and Technology (CCAST) Bambili, a college known for its academic excellence.

In an effort to make an example of him, Penn Terence was arrested and charged with “terrorism, secession, rebellion, sponsoring acts of terrorism, insurgency, hostility to the fatherland.” Though no tangible evidence or witnesses were presented to justify any of these charges, Penn Terence was found guilty of all charges on February 23, 2018.

Under Cameroon’s controversial 2014 anti-terrorism law, which uses anti-terrorism as a veil to target journalists and activists, these charges can be punishable by Death or Life Imprisonment.

The entire proceeding from arrest to trial has been a total mockery of justice. Penn Terence was arrested without a warrant, tortured, held in solitary confinement for twelve days, and denied sufficient legal representation. The prosecutor and the judge seem to be following the instructions of the Executive Branch, as a prominent governor had recently declared in the wake of a general strike that all Ambazonian activists were “dogs” and will be “fried.” Cameroon, which is the second longest-running dictatorship in the world, still uses the colonial court system inherited from its French colonizers.

Penn Terrence’s Kahn letter to court declaring the beginning of civil disobedience by ending voluntary participation in court hearings. Page 1
Penn Terrence’s Kahn letter to court declaring the beginning of civil disobedience by ending voluntary participation in court hearings. Page 1