The Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, has exhorted the government of Cameroon to stop intimidating Journalists in the country.
It should be recalled that Journalists in Cameroon are regularly arrested for reporting on the ongoing unrest in the country’s English speaking regions.
Recently, Mimi Mefo, head of English news and a presenter for the privately owned Equinoxe television and radio station, was summoned to appear before the national gendarmerie in Douala, as part of a false news and cybercrime investigation. Mefo, who also runs Mimi Mefo Info, her own news website, and actively reports on social media about political unrest in Cameroon’s western Anglophone regions, is scheduled to appear at the gendarmerie office today at 2 p.m.
Reacting to Mefo’s summon, Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator, said; “By summoning Mimi Mefo, Cameroonian authorities send a chilling message to the country’s media community”
“Over the last year, Cameroonian journalists have been repeatedly summoned simply for doing their work. In many instances, these summons resulted in detentions. This pattern of intimidation must end.”
The summons document does not specify any charges against Mefo, stating only that she is summoned in connection with an investigation.
Beside Mimi Mefo, several other Cameroonian journalists have been victims of government’s clampdown. On November 3, Joseph Olinga Ndoa, a journalist with Le Messager was arrested. He was allegedly on an investigative coverage in Akwa, one of the busiest joints in Bafoussam, when he was apprehended by security forces and taken to the Baffoussam 1 gendarmerie Brigade.
In Bamenda today, six journalists are poised to appear before the military court. The case between the Publisher of the Cameroon Report Newspaper, Fujah Hanson Muki and his workers against the State will reportedly be heard today at the Bamenda Military Court.
Another editor, Michel Biem Tong, was summoned and detained on October 23.