Newspaper director reports death threats

Posted September 25, 2007

Harrys Robert Mintya, Le Devoir

Harrys Robert Mintya, the managing director of the independent newspaper Le Devoir, said he received three telephone threats in mid-September in relation to the Yaounde newspaper’s reporting.

Mintya told CPJ that he filed a complaint with police. He said the callers did not specify the coverage that triggered the threats. The callers told Mintya that they are “watching him” and will “kill him” if he keeps “printing lies,” the editor said.

Mintya said he believes the threats could be related to July articles that accused Prime Minister Ephraïm Inoni and a former minister of economy and finance, Polycarpe Abah Abah, of blocking public funds for personal reasons. On September 13, Mintya said, he pleaded guilty in Yaounde Central Court to a libel charge in connection with the coverage and was fined 1 million CFA (US$2,100). Calls made by CPJ to the Information Ministry seeking comment on the coverage went unanswered.