Noutang Patrick, a Cameroonian, is now being held at the Bonanjo judicial police station, for publicly criticising the nation’s president, Paul Biya.
When Patrick made the remarks, which were overheard by undercover investigators, he was at a pub with friends.
Patrick was subsequently charged with being an Ambazonian terrorist by the agents, who then phoned the police.
Patrick disputed the accusations, claiming that he was only venting his anger at the administration. He said he was inebriated at the time and had no malicious intent.
Outrage after arrest
Patrick’s detention has incensed human rights activists, who assert that it violates his right to free speech. They demanded both his release and a probe of the events leading up to his detention.
“Really disgusting. Instead of utilising this energy to track down the killers who operate in the two largest cities in the nation, they choose to hurt the law-abiding individuals who strive for the welfare of all… Look at the perilous conditions in which some guys in uniform live, wrote Facebook user Désormais Dubril.
Where is the right to free speech? Has critiquing the regime come to mean disregarding moral principles? Romeo Nyamsi’s reaction to this was questioned.
Some have criticised the secret agents for overreacting. Paul Biya personally won’t go after anyone who criticises him.
Defending the arrest, the secret agents claimed that Patrick’s remarks were seditious and may have incited violence. Additionally, they stated that while they are devoted to defending the right to free speech, it must be used properly.
Although some people oppose such an arrest, others claim it will serve as a lesson to others.
“Youths are out drinking, getting wasted, and blaming Biya for their laziness instead of concentrating on finding jobs,” remarked Lauresse Mbida.
Freedom of speech impossible!
This is not the first time a Cameroonian has been arrested for questioning Paul Biya’s leadership.
Patrick’s case serves as a reminder of the difficulties facing Cameroonian freedom of expression. Free speech has historically been restricted in the nation, and the executive branch has been charged with exploiting the legal system to stifle criticism.
The situation involving Patrick serves as a reminder of the value of standing up against injustice. Many journalists and regular citizens have been detained and imprisoned for speaking out against Biya and his government. Even fatalities have occurred.
Cameroon is what form of democratic Cameroon? What actually happened to the right to free speech?