The South African National Editor’s Forum has criticised the government’s handling of Samuel Wazizi’s case, given the fact that Wazizi was never tried in court despite being arrested and kept incommunicado for over 300 days.
“The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) condemns the death in detention of Cameroonian journalist, Samuel Wazizi and the ongoing attacks on journalists in the USA and UK”.
SANEF maintains their disgust from all forms of ill treatment to the press no matter where it may be, whether in Africa, Europe or America.
The recent cases of Samuel Wazizi, Njoka Kingsley Paul Chouta and others, have revealed the volatile state in which the press is kept under in Cameroon. The circumstances of the arrests and detention simply prove the authorities in Cameroon would do whatever it takes to strangle press freedom, a fight in which SANEF is not ready to end any time soon.
Samuel Wazizi was arrested and kept incommunicado for 10 months until he was pronounced dead due to sepsis without even informing his family about his demise, Njoka Kingsley was arbitrarily taken from his house by unidentified armed men without charge and without saying where he was being taken to.
He was kept without information for close to 1 month and it was only due to excessive pressure that was given by colleagues that he was later on found at SED Yaounde, Paul Chouta was arrested and jailed for 1 year awaiting trial for a crime that is punishable by 6 months if found guilty. SANEF condemns all this and called for an independent investigation into the matter.
“SANEF calls on the President of Cameroon Paul Biya as well as the African Union to launch an independent investigation into the death of Wazizi and the subsequent cover-up by the army”.
SANEF equally notes as curled from the CPJ that Samuel Wazizi is the second journalist to die in the hands of the forces of defence of Cameroon, as in 2010, journalist Bibi Ngota equally died in their custody, with medical reports citing that he died due to the lack of medical attention.
Mimi Mefo Info