PEN America wants charges against Valsero dropped

PEN America has called for charges against pro-democracy activist Valsero to be dropped.

In a recent press release, the New York based institution said “the arrest, ongoing detention, and charges against Valsero, are inexcusable violations of artistic freedom of expression.”

Valsero was arrested earlier this year along with his music producer during a pro-democracy demonstration that was organised by Maurice Kamto of the MRC opposition party.

Valsero and his sound engineer have since been in prison and could face the death penalty.

His charges include rebellion against the state, terrorism, insurrection, inciting public disorder, and propagating false information.

“This is clearly a targeted attempt to silence an internationally known and beloved rapper who strives, both through his music and his activism, to critique the government and inspire social change,” PEN noted.

“We urge the Cameroonian government to immediately drop the charges against Valsero and uphold its domestic and international commitments to protect freedom of expression,” it added.

Some of Valsero’s works include; “Çe pays tue les jeunes” (“This country kills the youth”), “Ne me parlez plus de ce pays” (“Don’t talk about this country to me anymore”), and the well-known “Lettre au president” (“Letter to the President”) all of which have political inclinations.

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