For the first time in decades, a Cameroonian journalist has died in prison. Samuel Wazizi was arrested on the 2nd of August 2019, held incommunicado and denied access to family and lawyers. He was declared dead on local on Tuesday June 2 2020.
Journalists in Cameroon have taken on the social media calling for justice for Samuel Wazizi. They see the arrest, torture and subsequent death of their colleague as an attack to the journalism profession in Cameroon. To many of them, military and administrative officials use intimidation, threats and harassment against journalists in Cameroon each day to cover up their evil deeds.
Many Cameroonian journalists have been in shock since news of Wazizi’s death was made public on Tuesday evening. Campaigns have intensified on social media calling for justice for Wazizi. People are using the hashtag #JusticeforWazizi to express their discontent with his murder and call for the perpetrators to be brought to book.
Leaders of Cameroon Journalists Trade Union (SNJC) and Cameroon association of English speaking journalists (CAMASEJ) have called on journalists in Cameroon to be on alert for any call of protest. The two groups say government needs to give an account following the death of journalist Samuel Wazizi. Denis Nkwebo and Jude Viban think journalists have been pushed to the wall and it’s time to make their voices heard.
Bar. Tamfu Richard has expressed total disappointment on the importance of courts in Cameroon where lawyers cannot see their clients in court because of military barriers.The lawyer condemned the fact that journalist Samuel Wazizi was detained incommunicado for 10 months and finally died in detention with no judgement exercised. He condemned the fact that his colleagues defending Wazizi were rendered useless in front of the law.
Journalists in the South West region are poised to March to the office of the Governor tomorrow Thursday to demand the whereabouts of journalist Samuel Wazizi. Jato Derick, President of Cameroon Journalists Trade Union South West Chapter says they still consider news of Wazizi’s death as rumours. They want to get it from an authority before considering the next step to take.
Bar. Nkea Emmanuel, lead lawyer defending journalist Samuel Wazizi says his team will be at the Buea high court on the 9th of June 2020 – day for the trial of Samuel Wazizi. The lawyer says he has not been duly informed that his client has died. He says the court has been rendered useless as the commander of the 21st motorised infantry battalion has continuously disrespected the decision to bring Wazizi to court.
Politicians have not been left behind. Several political parties including the CPP, MANIDEM, PAS and the MRC have issued statements condemning what has happened. They are calling for a thorough investigation asking government to see to it that justice is served.
Reports say the government is doing all it can of allegations that its soldiers were responsible for the killing of Wazizi behind bars. More than 24 hours after Wazizi’s death was announced on local media, government has not yet reacted. It is not the first time government soldiers are being accused of committing atrocities and rights abuses. On many of such occasions government has denied responsibility. What is going to happen this time?
At the time a lot of focus is being placed on Wazizi, another journalist has for two weeks now been no where to be found. Kingsley Fomonyu went missing some ten days ago and his whereabouts remain unknown. The journalist was based in the economic capital, Douala.
The international community has not been indifferent to Wazizi’s death in detention. Reporters Without Borders took to twitter to express its shock. The reporter’s death it says “is unprecedented in a decade.” The Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ has tasked the Yaounde government to produce the pressman. CPJ says it has reached out to the ministries of communication, justice and the Prime Minister’s office but has gotten no reply.
Cameroon has registered 204 new COVID-19 cases under 24 hours, June 3rd, 2020. According to the Ministry of public health, 29 new recoveries were recorded this day with 3 new deaths.
The country now counts 6789 confirmed cases, 3705 recoveries and 203 deaths
The family of late Saxophonist Manu Dibango has distanced itself from a planned mega musical concert in honour of the musical hero who died of COVID-19 early this year. On the official Facebook page Club Manu Dibango, the family said they are not organising any manifestation, commemoration or homage in honour of Manu Dibango as purported by some individuals in Cameroon. While outlining that such occasion will be announced to the public duly, the family warned artist Papillion from presenting a supposed project in that line to
Cameroonian authorities and business operators on behalf of the family
A consortium of legal minds and human rights defenders is standing up against the government of Cameroon over the arrest and inhumane torture of young man Ibrahim Bello. He was tortured by Cameroonian police officers in the town of Ombessa in the Center Region, and it finally led to the amputation of his two legs. Found guilty after a long legal battle, the government of Cameroon was charged to pay 50 million francs as damage to Ibrahim Belo, but the consortium to defend him says the sanction is largely insufficient and not commensurate to the damage caused. They have constituted legal documents to fight on.
The Governor of the South West region Bernard Okalia Bilai has revealed that separatist attacks are in an exponential rise in his Region. He made the revelation in a very confidential letter addressed to the Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic of Cameroon. While demanding military reinforcement in the Region, he said the increased attacks have been favoured by the withdrawal of the BIR from Konye, Big Banjo, Balangi in the Meme and Ekona in the Fako.
The Cameroon military has once more been disgraced by some of its members caught stealing today. The soldiers in question were reportedly caught attempting to steal goats in a locality in the Center region. Last week some were apprehended in Lome, Togo taking part in a robbery attempt.
All four former officers involved in George Floyd’s killing now face charges. The former Minneapolis Police officer who pressed his knee into George Floyd’s neck was charged on Wednesday with a new, more serious count of second-degree murder, and the three other officers on scene during his killing were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. The announcement came more than a week after Floyd was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis, sparking nationwide protests that call for the end to police violence against black citizens.