I was able to see young Kevin yesterday at Yaoundé central prison.
I say that “I was able to see it”, because for some time now, access for lawyers to their clients in the two prisons in Yaoundé has been made almost impossible.
I will come back to that.
So yesterday afternoon, I went to the prison to see what Kevin’s physical and mental condition was.
When I was brought to the main courtyard of the prison, I immediately saw in his gaze behind his round glasses, like a ray of sunshine, and his shy smile reflected his joy at seeing the one whom he sees more of a father than a lawyer.
Since I took over his case at the beginning of August at the Judicial Police, he never called me Master.
He told me that he arrived in prison at around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, along with the four other unfortunates.
Rather well received by the prisoners who took up their cause for him.
By the time I arrive, he is being transferred to the minors’ quarter, where I am told there are not only minors.
He also assures me that his mother, of whom he is the only son, is doing better after the shock she had on learning that he would go to prison.
He’s even more frail in this oversized shirt, and I just want to hug him.
I try to explain to him in simple words what I intend to undertake for him in the coming days.
I must admit, in front of this child my coldness of lawyer left me, I feel angry. I feel sad. But I must not show it to him, I am here to reassure him.
Although visibly lost in this hostile place, he remains strong, at least that’s my feeling.
He’s not crying anymore.
He’s not going to cry anymore, he promised me, after this hour spent together.
He must already return to his neighborhood.
For a new night. Not for a new life. His place is not here.