The Cameroonian author who was imprisoned for his e-book “The Banana Republic’s Natural beauty: Chantal Biya, from the street to the palace” 0

When an Amnesty International delegation visited Cameroon in August 2010, they identified that circumstances at prisons were appalling. At New Bell prison where Cameroonian creator Bertrand Zepherin Teyou was held, the scenario was not distinct. Officially intended to accommodate 700 persons, the New Bell prison in Douala experienced more than 2,453 detainees in August


“The detainees are in an overcrowded and everyday living-threatening setting – some have irons on their feet – and there is a dire absence of satisfactory foodstuff and professional medical treatment,” Tawanda Hondora, deputy director of the Africa plan at Amnesty Worldwide, claimed at the time.

“The guards are not adequately qualified and are ill-outfitted to deal with this kind of a significant quantity of detainees, a problem which often gives increase to unrest and attempted escape, some of which are lethal,” Hondora included.

For months, Teyou had to survive within the 4 walls of New Bell prison, even suffering from heavy bleeding triggered by acute hemorrhoids, a ailment built even worse by his weak prison eating plan.

And this was all simply because he could not fork out the court good just after he was arrested for creating a guide about the country’s very first lady.

Teyou was arrested in a lodge in November 2010 though making an attempt to launch a e-book he experienced prepared about Chantal Biya, the spouse of Cameroon’s President Paul Biya.

Teyou experienced hired a room at the Somatel Lodge for the signing of his e book, La Belle de la République bananière: Chantal Biya, de la rue au palais (The Banana Republic’s Natural beauty: Chantal Biya, from the street to the palace).

The ebook is about Chantal’s modest beginnings to her increase as Cameroon’s first lady. But just before the guide was about to be launched in the existence of the media, management of the resort reported they would no lengthier allow for him to use the venue.

Protection forces quickly arrived, arrested him and whisked him to a police station in Douala. There, he was detained and charged with contempt of a persona (outrage à personnalité) and illegal assembly (manifestation illégale).

On November 10, 2010, Teyou was attempted by the Superior Courtroom (Tribunal de première instance) in Douala, which uncovered him responsible of the costs.

He was sentenced to a fine of two,030,150 CFA francs (4,425 US pounds) or two years’ imprisonment if he was unable to pay the good. Not in a position to fork out the great, he had to keep on being in prison.

Then his wellbeing circumstances deteriorated because of to the lifetime-threatening ailments at the jail. Alongside the way, he could only receive professional medical treatment outdoors, only when and if he could find the money for it.

In the meantime, human legal rights companies these as Amnesty Worldwide and Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN had begun demanding his release.

Amnesty International argued that the charges against him “are unfounded at best and he really should be launched immediately and unconditionally.”

According to Articles or blog posts 152 to 156 of the Cameroonian Penal code, the offense of contempt is only applicable to senior govt and legislative officials, as very well as foreign dignitaries. It does not mention their spouses or users of their households, a report by africultures claimed in April 2011.

It extra that Teyou was not sued by the first girl, nor was she a witness in the circumstance immediately after he was arrested, detained and through his demo.

His charge of unlawful assembly was also stunning for quite a few, taking into consideration the Cameroonian creator experienced notified authorities of the start ahead of time.

About two months in prison, on February 15, 2011, Teyou went on a hunger strike to protest the ailments at the prison but his spouse and children persuaded him to back down due to his health and fitness which continued to deteriorate.

The good news is, that same 12 months, on May two, Teyou was unveiled when the London chapter of Global PEN agreed to spend his high-quality and to also go for health-related procedure.

Rejoining his family members and mates, it was later on documented that his overall health experienced improved. The chair of African literature at the University of Bayreuth also available to shell out the charges for his e book to be reprinted in Germany.

At the time of his arrest, Amnesty Global mentioned it considered Teyou was held as a prisoner of conscience, “detained entirely for the tranquil exercising of his ideal to freedom of expression and affiliation.”

In an interview in March 2011, Teyou disclosed his motives for producing his e book. “We are entitled to increase in opposition to the injustice that is crippling our region. We can’t enable evil go unquestioned… This reserve is the expression of my dissatisfaction with what is going on in Cameroon, especially the macabre process that gives Chantal Biya the leeway to treat people today about her with serious cruelty.”

Paul Biya

Chantal’s husband, 87-12 months-outdated Biya, is just one of Africa’s longest-serving presidents who gained one more seven-calendar year expression in 2018. Right after serving for 36 a long time, he is not ready to move down even nevertheless the nation continues to tumble apart.

Latest situations in the region comprise all the telltale indications of a regime in decline and a failing setting.

For a prolonged time, Biya has relied on the common dictatorial techniques to maintain his stranglehold on the place ethnic divisions, a brutal military crackdown on dissenters, arrest and imprisonment of opposition leaders, preserving a shut school of cronies, most of whom are from his area of origin and have remained blind loyalists. These that have proven indicators of wavering have been swiftly thrown in prison.

Source: gotech