Marrakech Court Sentences Two Café La Crème Shooting Suspects to Death

Rabat – On July 26, the Court of Appeal in Marrakech sentenced to death the main suspect Gabriel Edwin, from the Republic of Suriname, and his Dominican accomplice. Both defendants have Dutch nationality.The case goes back to November 2017 when the two defendants, on a large motorcycle, opened fire at café “La Crème.” The shooting caused the death of a young medical student and seriously injured his female classmate.The two Dutch defendants faced several charges. They were convicted of intentional premeditated homicide, participation in an attempted homicide, criminal gang formation, damage to public property, as well as drug production and trafficking. The owner of the café and his cousin were sentenced, respectively, to 15 and 8 years in prison. Both were convicted of involvement in drug trafficking operations which led to the shooting.Two further suspects were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, and a third was handed a suspended sentence of 2 to 3 months.Judicial Police in Marrakech, in coordination with the services of the Directorate-General for the Surveillance of National Territory (DGST), carried out an investigation into the shooting. The investigation led to the arrest of the two Dutch nationals in August 2018.DGSN reported that the defendants already had criminal records. They were directly linked to cases of international drug trafficking, abduction, taking hostages, armed robbery, and attempted murder.Moroccan police linked the crime to the settling of accounts between drug cartels and drug traffickers working between Morocco and the Netherlands.In recent weeks, Sale’s Court of Appeal had announced similar verdicts in the Imlil murder case in which two Scandinavian female tourists were killed by extremist terrorists in December 2018.The three main defendants were also sentenced to death. However, the death penalty has not been carried out in Morocco since 1993. read more

UNAIDS urges investigation into death of gay rights activist in Cameroon

Eric Ohena Lembembe was the Executive Director of the Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS. He was reportedly found dead in his apartment in the capital of Yaoundé, soon after he wrote about attacks in the country on organizations that support homosexuals, according to the non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch. “Mr. Lembembe was an important partner in the AIDS response,” the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said in a statement, calling on the Government to pursue a thorough investigation into the killing. UNAIDS added that it remains gravely concerned about numerous reports of violence and death threats against LGBTI people in Cameroon. “UNAIDS urges the Government to send a clear message that violence, homophobic and discriminatory acts will not be tolerated,” it stated. “It is unacceptable that in many countries people are subject to violence or the threat of violence because of their sexual orientation or perceived HIV status. Respect for human rights is essential in ensuring that all people have access to HIV services.”UNAIDS and the Joint UN team on AIDS in Cameroon worked closely with Mr. Lembembe and his organization on human rights issues and on ensuring access to HIV prevention services for key populations. read more