The Cameroonian government can't seem to decide exactly what writer, activist and blogger Enoh Meyomesse has done wrong. On 22 November Meyomesse was arrested for taking part in a gold heist, although he was later charged with plotting a coup. Either way, the charges seem unfounded. By THERESA MALLINSON.
On 22 November 2011 Enoh Meyomesse had just returned from a business trip to Singapore when he was arrested at Yaoundé airport in Cameroon. Meyomesse was taken to jail and interrogated. Almost two months later, he has still not been released, although journalist friends have been able to visit him.
During one visit in December, Meyomesse told them, “It was during the interrogation, when investigators asked me to reveal our weapons cache, that I learned that I was accused of being the leader of a gang of robbers in collusion with foreign forces trying to foment a coup.” The gang to which Meyomesse allegedly belonged is accused of conducting an armed robbery. During this robbery, the gang stole some gold; which Meymesse allegedly sold while he was in Singapore.
The Cameroonian government may leave much to be desired when it comes to upholding human rights, but it's certainly masterful at inventing fantastical stories. In reality, the fact that Meyomesse is an opponent of President Paul Biya and tried to run in the 2011 presidential elections, until he was disqualified, probably has more to do with his arrest.
While Meyomesse is stuck in jail, his supporters on the outside have been working to secure his freedom. Internet Without Borders recently launched a campaign calling for Meyomesse to be released, as well as asking for donations to help pay his legal fees. IWB's condemnation of Meyomesse's imprisonment is clear: “For Internet Without Borders, Enoh Meyomesse is a political prisoner: this man of letters, who attempted to run for the presidential election on 9 October 2011, could now be jailed for dissenting opinions he has continued to defend in several essays and articles.” FAM
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Photo: A boy walks past a newspaper kiosk at the Carrefour Wada district in Yaounde on 7 October 2011. Reuters.