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 © Amnesty International

28th October 2022, 16:12:16 UTC

Dorgelesse has always dreamt of owning a thriving beauty institute. Two years ago, the single mother and hairdresser was just starting to expand her hairdressing business to include manicures.

On 22 September 2020, Dorgelesse’s dream was shattered when she was arrested during a protest in Douala, Cameroon. It was her first ever protest. She had never been politically active before, but her concerns about the state of Cameroon’s economy led her to join the demonstrations.

When the peaceful protest began, security forces fired rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters. As Dorgelesse turned into an alleyway, police followed her and fellow protesters and blocked them in. They arrested her and took her to a police station, where she was held in a cell with 22 other people in terrible conditions.

On 29 September 2020, Dorgelesse was transferred to Douala Central Prison, where she still remains. She was charged with “insurrection, assembly, meetings and public demonstrations” and tried by a military court. She was sentenced to five years in prison on 7 December 2021.

Dorgelesse is the breadwinner of her family. Her 18-year-old son has sickle cell anaemia, and the family are struggling to pay for his medication. Dorgelesse is desperate to be reunited with them.

Tell Cameroon to free Dorgelesse today.

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