For the past 10 months, Cameroonian journalist, Mbombog Mbog Matip Emmanuel, publisher of the Climat Social newspaper has been behind bars at the Kondengui Central Prison.
The pressman who doubles as president of the national league for the defense of the rights of disadvantaged people says his detention is illegal and engineered by persons hiding the truth.
In this regard, he starts a hunger strike today, a move he says would persist till a solution to his detention is found. The strike, he says, will run for “an unlimited duration, this to attract the attention of the entire international community concerning my fate…”.
“I have been detained for 10 months at the Yaoundé Kondengui central prison in Cameroon for having done my work as an investigative journalist with professionalism and patriotism,” Mbombog Mbog says.
The arrest and detention, he explains, is government’s move to stop him from publishing the results of an investigative story he had been working on.
“I was abducted from my home in Yaoundé, Cameroon on August 17, 2020 at 10 a.m. by 6 unidentified, hooded and heavily armed individuals on the instructions of Colonel Émile Joël Bankoui, commander of military security (Sémil),” he explains.
He reports being tortured at the Ministry of Defence, and later at the State Secretariat for Defence, SED.
At SED, Mbombog says he was “held in custody for 3 weeks in its dark cells meant for political prisoners, under inhumane conditions”.
On September 7, 2020, he was presented to the military court in Yaoundé where a judge signed an order for his pre-trial detention for a duration of six months.
“… Though my illegal and abusive pre-trial detention came to an end since March 07, 2021, I am still kidnapped, taken captive and illegally held…, ” he adds.
The newspaper publisher narrates that “since August 17, 2020 from where I was illegally abducted from my home in Yaoundé, Cameroon, until today, nowhere has the law been respected in my case… During my kidnapping, I was investigating two cases, that of the coup d’état against his Excellency Paul Biya, … and also on the case of the robbers arrested in Togo for robbery, and theft of luxury cars…”.
Mbombog is one of many pressmen jailed in Cameroon in blatant disrespect of due process, and allegedly tortured. The lapses in the judicial processes have also not made matters any better, as some have even been forced to serve more time behind bars than their sentences required.
Mimi Mefo Info