“Outrage over her imprisonment last night at the Douala New Bell prison has built inside the Cameroonian media landscape, with many hashtags reflecting widespread anger”
The jailing of award-winning Journalist, Mimi Mefo, has sparked mounting public outrage among some Cameroonians and press men, with an online campaign under the hashtag #Freemimimefo gathering pace.
Mimi Mefo was on November 7 2018, arrested and remanded at the New Bell Prison in Douala after honoring invitation of the Cameroon military colonel at the Gendamerie Legion in Bonanjo . She is being charged with spreading fake news and cyber criminality.
According Alice Nkom, one of Mimi’s lawyers, Mimi’s tweet on the US Missionary’s dead wherein she quoted family sources which stated that Charles Wesco was targeted, landed terrorism charges on her.
Since her arrest last night, human rights activists, journalist networks, women’s rights groups and youth activists have taken to social media under the hashtag #freemimimefo, calling for her immediate release.
Many say Mimi was simply doing her job and should’t be intimidated. Media groups have reflected similar concerns with the words like “Government cannot continue intimidating civilians and imprisoning journalists! Journalism is not a crime”, “who’s next?”
Meanwhile, the Committee to Protect Journalists has criticized attacks on Cameroonian press and also asked charges against the journalists to be dropped for those detained to regain freedom.
CPJ says since 2016 Cameroon has repeatedly jailed journalists for reporting on unrest in the western regions of the country.