My name is SK and I was born in Cameroon. I am married and have two beautiful children. After attending elementary school and earning my high school diploma, I registered at the Douala Technical Institute of Technologies to major in Hydraulic Engineering. It was while at this prestigious institution that most of my problems started.
Like many students of my generation, I had grown frustrated with the status quo of the socio-political state of Cameroon.
As I was finishing my studies, I decided to join the MRC (Movement pour la Renaissance du Cameroon), a newly founded political party. I started going to political rallies. A few times, I was taken to the local police station. In fact, to contest against organized fraud and non-democratic tactics the CPDM used to steal the election, a rally was organized during which I was arrested and thrown in jail.
I spent one week in jail. I was continuously tortured. I was arrested with several other people. There were many people in our cell and every morning each one of us was taken to another cell where we were beaten. Police officers used rubber sticks to beat me on my buttocks and the bottom of my feet. After one week of torture, I was released with a firm interdiction to not participate.
After the election, I got a job. I also continued my involvement in the political process. I officially joined the MRC. My main responsibility was to mobilize young people, especially young students and young business professionals to engage in the political process. I constantly traveled across the country to meet with peers and young people.
It wasn’t long before our organization attracted attention from the authorities, who started to monitor our movements. In early 2016, during a meeting with many young people, we were interrupted by police. They stormed in, using smoking gas as well as pepper spray.
I succeeded to escape, but many did not.
I was arrested shortly afterward, incarcerated in a prison, tortured and beaten for two weeks. My uncle, who is a police officer, used his contacts to free me.
Upon my release, my uncle informed me that I was on a “blacklist” of those considered dangerous. No one could protect me.
To save my life, I had to make the hard decision to leave my family behind.
I applied for a visa to come to America, a land of freedom.
I am alone here.
But I am alive. I have hope.