Dear President Biya: We are writing to express our alarm at the harassment and abuse of at least a dozen journalists in Cameroon. These reporters each raised questions about your administration’s management of public finances, the progress of an anti-corruption drive dubbed Operation Sparrowhawk, and local government affairs. We call on you to hold members of the administration accountable for using security forces and criminal laws to settle scores with the media. We further urge you to initiate reforms that would refer matters of defamation to civil courts.
New York, February 9, 2010—Security agents in Cameroon have detained two journalists since Friday in an apparent effort to learn the source of a purported memo from the chairman of the state oil company about the purchase of a luxury boat, according to local journalists and news reports.