August 2020 clocks one year since Cameroonian journalist , Samuel Ajiekah Abuwe popularly known as Samuel Wazizi was arrested in the South West region of Cameroon.
News that the journalist died while in military detention in Yaounde was confirmed by the ministry of defense nine months after.
Cyrille Serge Atonfack Nguemo; head of the communication unit at the ministry of defense in Cameroon in a communiqué issued in June 2020 stated that Samuel Wazizi died on the 17th of August 2019 due to ‘severe sepsis and not military brutality’.
One year after the arbitrary arrest, detention incommunicado,death and continue detention of the corpse of the former journalist of Chillen Music Television (CMTV),the family,defending lawyers,human rights defenders, journalists and the general public continue to call for justice and return of the corpse for a proper burial.
Henry Abuwe speaking to Mimi Mefo Info on phone expresses total disappointment on what he calls injustice meted on his brother by the state of Cameroon. “Since my brother was declared dead by the ministry of defense,no one has contacted us on where to get the body for a befitting burial as our tradition demands. It is just a double punishment for our family. First, Wazizi was detained incommunicado for nine months only for us to learn on television that he died while in military custody. Now we don’t even have the right to see and burry his body. This is unfair.”
Wazizi’s family scared of reprisal for demanding justice for their brother has taken refuge in an undisclosed location. “We have to leave our house in Muea in the South West shortly after the death of Samuel was announced” Henry Abuwe states in agony and pains.
A team of lawyers defending Samuel Wazizi says one year anniversary of the arrest of their client Wazizi unfortunately coincides with the transfer of judges and magistrates. According to Barrister Edward Lyonga;one of the defending lawyers “We the lawyers are very worried. We have filed an application at the Fako high court in Buea demanding for an independent investigation on the where about of the court. This should include family members and the defending lawyers.”
To him, the case will actually resume at the court when new judges will start work at the Fako court high court. Despite this,he keeps an eye on what may come of an investigation said to have been announced by president Paul Biya.
“The state has not given us the body.The ministry of defense says the body will not be given until a state investigation is carried out. This death of Wazizi was announced in June but this is August, there is no development” Bar. Lyonga adds.
Samuel Wazizi according to the ministry of defense collaborated with separatist fighters in the South West region to destabilize the state of Cameroon.
Mimi Mefo Info.