22 January 1998


Newspaper "Aurore Plus" suspended

Incident details

legal action

(RSF/IFEX) - RSF reports that the independent newspaper "Aurore Plus" has
been suspended for six months. This action was in conjunction with the
sentencing on 13 January of its editor, Michel Michaut Moussala, to six
months in prison and a fine of 10,000 FF. (See IFEX alert.) The conviction
followed a complaint lodged by Jean Tchoussa Moussa Mbatkam, Director
General of the National Ports Department of Cameroon (ONPC) and a deputy of
the Rassemblement Democratique du Peuple Camerounais (RDPC), the governing
party. On 16 December 1997, the newspaper published an article entitled
"ONPC, tome II, Tchouta Moussa at the centre of a failed coup" in which it
accused him of having taken advantage of his position as director of the
ONPC to foment a coup d'etat.

**Further to IFEX alert of 14 January 1998**

Recommended Action

Send appeals to President Biya:

  • reminding him that Cameroon has ratified the International Covenant on
    Civil and Political Rights, Article 19 of which guarantees the freedom to
    inform and be informed, as well as the African Charter of Human Rights,
    Article 9 of which guarantees the same rights and calling on him to respect
    Cameroon's committments to the international community
  • calling on him to support alternatives to prison sentences for alleged
    press offences
  • calling on him to use his authority to ensure that the sentence against
    Moussala is not applied and that the suspension of "Aurore Plus" be lifted.

    Appeals To

    President Paul Biya
    President of the Republic of Cameroon
    Presidential Palace
    Yaounde, Cameroon
    Fax: +237 23 30 22, +237 22 16 99

  • Source

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

    Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51
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