CPDM Crime Syndicate: Journalist summoned and detained on Governor’s orders 0

The Head of the Agency of the newspaper, L’Oeil du Sahel, Bertrand Ayissi, has been arrested and detained in an apparent attempt at intimidation. He was summoned by the Governor of the Adamaoua Region in Central Cameroon, Governor Kildadi Taguieke Bouka, on 12 September. Ayissi was then handed to the Vina Gendarmerie and taken into custody.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists in Cameroon ( Syndicat national des journalistes du Cameroun) (SNJC) in vehemently denouncing this act of intimidation and attempt to silence journalists and the media.

According to a press release issued by the SNJC on 13 September, journalist Bertrand Ayissi carried out an investigation into the trafficking of human organs and bones in Adamaoua. This was published in L’Oeil du Sahel on 18 August. Ayissi was summoned to the Governor’s office on 12 September where Governor Bouka accused him of being ‘a hired journalist manipulated by men lurking in the shadows to blacken the work being done on security in the region’.  Bouka further accused Ayissi of wanting to ‘disturb public order’. Ayissi was detained for 24 hours before being released, but is still being investigated for the story he had published.

The SNJC condemned the act of intimidation meted out to Ayissi and called on the Governor to take proper legal action if he feels that Ayissi has committed an offence. The SNJC called all its members to mobilise and stay steadfast in the face of adversity.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: ‘This arrest of our colleague Bertrand Ayissi is a clear act of intimidation designed to force journalists into self-censorship and eventually silence them. We call on the Cameroonian authorities to drop all charges against Bertrand and guarantee his safety.”

Source: ifj.org