Cameroon: #StopBopda Goes Viral Following Cascade of Anonymous Denunciations

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The social media frenzy shows no signs of abating as the hashtag #StopBopda becomes a viral phenomenon. Hervé Bopda, a wealthy heir and socialite, has been the subject of a torrent of anonymous accusations since mid-January. Numerous anonymous testimonies circulating online allege incidents of assault, firearm threats, violence, and rape in cities such as Yaoundé, Douala, and Kribi. Fueled by the emotional response, calls for his arrest have multiplied. In response, Hervé Bopda has filed a defamation complaint.

The accumulation of disturbing accounts on the internet regarding Hervé Bopda has triggered a public outcry, drowning out those who advocate for the importance of the presumption of innocence. Appeals to avoid mob justice and settling scores are barely audible amid the uproar.

In an effort to initiate a legal procedure based on these anonymous allegations, the Human Rights Commission of the Cameroon Bar Association has brought the matter to the attention of the public prosecutor at the Yaoundé Court of First Instance. The commission notes that the victims fear identification.

On the government front, the first response came from the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family on Saturday. Minister Marie-Thérèse Abéna Ondoa expressed satisfaction with the authorities’ legal intervention to establish the veracity of the allegations.

The Minister stands in solidarity with the complainants and urges anyone who considers themselves a victim or knows a victim to contact the ministry’s decentralized services for free psychosocial support. She encourages all victims of abuse “to break the silence and provide the justice system with the necessary evidence for prosecution.”

Since filing a complaint through his lawyers against several whistleblowers for defamation and death threats, Hervé Bopda has neither appeared nor made any statements. The situation continues to unfold amid heightened public attention and legal actions.

Soukaina Sghir

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