Court rooms across Cameroon are empty as lawyers embark on a five-day strike.
They're protesting about alleged abuses against them and their clients, committed, they say, by law enforcement officers.
The head of the Cameroon Bar Council, Charles Tchakoute Patie, said lawyers have been physically assaulted, and denied access to their clients.
They also complain about exorbitant court charges, the trial of accused persons in a language they do not understand, and the use of torture and inducements to extract confessions.
An official from the ministry of justice, Jean De Dieu Momo, has been pleading with the lawyers to cooperate rather than confront the government.
“Let the Bar Council take its responsibility to henceforth lead lawyers not through all-out protests, but through collaboration with public authorities," he said.
"From this view point, let me underscore the fact that the Bar Council is a professional order, not an opposition political party or a human rights NGO."
The Bar Council insists the strike is necessary to force the government to act on its demands.