24 December 1997


Journalist Pius Njawe arrested; editorial staff of the newspaper "Le Messager" threatened

Incident details

Pius Njawe



(RSF/IFEX) - On 24 December 1997, Pius Njawe, editor-in-chief of
"Le Messager", was arrested at the newspaper's offices by men in
civilian clothing and taken to judicial police headquarters in
Douala. No official explanation was given for Njawe's arrest.
According to his colleagues, the action is thought to be linked
to an article that appeared in the 22 December edition of the
newspaper that reported on heart problems that President Paul
Biya allegedly suffered during the final of the Cameroon Cup
soccer match.

Elsewhere, on 18 December, the editorial team of "Le Messager"
was threatened and insulted by individuals who claimed to be
members of Biya's family. In its 16 December edition, the
satirical newspaper "Le Messager Popoli" had published a series
of cartoons of the First Lady.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • reminding them that Cameroon has ratified the International
    Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 19 of which
    recognises the right to inform and to be informed
  • calling on them to respect and to have respected the engagements
    taken by Cameroon in the international community
  • further calling on them to use their influence to obtain the
    immediate and unconditional release of Pius Njawe

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Paul Biya
    President of the Republic of Cameroon
    Palais de l'Unite
    Yaounde, Cameroon
    Fax: +237 23 30 22/+237 22 16 99

    Peter Mafany Musonge
    Prime Minister
    Immeuble Etoile
    1000 Yaounde, Cameroon
    Fax: +237 23 57 65

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    Reporters Without Borders
    47, rue Vivienne
    75002 Paris, France
    rsf (@) rsf.org

    Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51
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