Amadou Vamoulké, the former managing director of state-owned Cameroon Radio and Television (CRTV), was arrested on July 29, 2016, for alleged embezzlement, according to media reports and one of the journalist's lawyers, Alice Nkom. Vamoulké, who headed CRTV from 2005 until 2016, was removed from his post shortly before his arrest, according to media reports.
Vamoulké has been detained in Kondengui Central Prison in Yaoundé since his arrest, and no evidence has been presented against him despite at least 14 scheduled hearings at the Special Criminal Court, Nkom told CPJ. Each time Vamoulké has appeared in court, the prosecution has requested postponement in order to bring evidence and each time the judge agreed, according to Nkom.
Nkom asserted that Vamoulké's arrest was in reprisal for his independently minded management of CRTV. "The official reason for his arrest is a pretext for trying to silence journalists in Cameroon...Amadou never accepted as black what he knew was white," Nkom said.
An individual familiar with Vamoulké's journalistic career who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal told CPJ that Vamoulké had strong ethical and journalistic standards. He was reputed for "high levels of professionalism...in spite of directives from the government and state apparatus...in some cases he contravened the directives," the individual said. Without this adherence to journalistic values and concern for "general interests and general good" over "power to influence," Vamoulké would not be in detention, the same individual said.
In October 2017, the International Union of Francophone Press in a Facebook post attested to Vamoulké's integrity and called his ongoing detention "a relentless attempt to demonstrate guilt despite the absence of facts justifying such an accusation."
Vamoulké was scheduled to appear in court on December 4, 2018, Nkom told CPJ.
CPJ's repeated calls in late 2018 to Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Cameroon's minister of information, went unanswered.
Vamoulké was not included in CPJ's 2016 or 2017 prison census because CPJ was not able to link his arrest to his journalistic activity at the time.