In "A Journalist in Exile," Cameroonian reporter Agnès Tailè talks about the challenges she faces after leaving her home for the United States. Tailè tells CPJ's Sheryl A. Mendez how she was abducted, beaten, and threatened in connection with her critical reporting about social issues and armed conflict. (3:41)
I was arbitrary and unlawfully arrested and detained in a heavily secured military police detention facility in Cameroon for 40 days. I had to bribe my way out of the country to seek sanctuary and protection.
Cameroon is a dictatorship dressed up as a fake democracy, with a leader in power for more than 29 years. As an investigative economics and current affairs journalist, I worked with the leading independent newspaper, Le Messager, and also with other newspapers before that. I wrote critical articles about the government and exposed its wrongdoing and corruption.
Dear President Biya: A year ago this week, journalist Germain Cyrille Ngota Ngota died in his cell in Nkondengui prison in the capital Yaoundé while in pre-trial custody on criminal charges based on his activities as the editor of the monthly Cameroon Express. We hold the government responsible for Ngota's death, and we call on you to initiate reforms so that no other Cameroonian journalist is thrown in prison in retaliation for reporting on issues of public interest. We urge you to implement reforms referring press offenses to civil courts, not criminal courts, in line with democracy, transparency and accountability.
New York, April 1, 2011--Using a vague criminal code provision allowing authorities to detain individuals deemed a threat to public order, a provincial governor in Cameroon threw a journalist in prison on Wednesday for inquiring about the arrests of two employees of a state-run palm oil company, according to local journalists.
Journalists: Beware of questioning the performance of Cameroonian international soccer superstar Samuel Eto'o on the field. The act could result in a head butt--as reporter Philippe Boney experienced in 2008--or in rough words, as a Senegalese reporter experienced in a postgame press conference on Saturday.
"For security reasons, the government of Cameroon requests the suspension of the Twitter sms integration on the network," announced a March 8 tweet by Bouba Kaélé, marketing manager of the Cameroon unit of South Africa-based telecommunications provider MTN. The announcement has since disappeared from Kaélé's Twitter feed, but was memorialized by a handful of Twitter users who retweeted the comment and the Cameroonian daily Le Jour, which printed a story.
New York, March 3, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned for the safety of a Cameroonian editor who is being prosecuted in connection with a leaked official document, according to local journalists and news reports.
By Mohamed Keita
Across the continent, the emergence of in-depth reporting and the absence of effective access-to-information laws have set a collision course in which public officials, intent on shielding their activities, are moving aggressively to unmask confidential sources, criminalize the possession of government documents, and retaliate against probing journalists. From Cameroon to Kenya, South Africa to Senegal, government reprisals have resulted in imprisonments, violence, threats, and legal harassment. At least two suspicious deaths--one involving an editor, the other a confidential source--have been reported in the midst of government reprisals against probing news coverage.
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