24 June 1998


Jailed journalist Pius Njawé suffering from eye ailment

Incident details

Pius Njawé



(WAN/IFEX) - Pius Njawé, editor-in-chief of the privately-owned weekly "Le
Messager", is suffering an eye ailment for which prison authorities refuse
to allow him to receive proper medical treatment. The ailment has apparently
been brought on by the conditions of his imprisonment in Douala and
exacerbated by lack of specialist treatment.

**Updates IFEX alerts dated 3 June, 7 May, 23 and 14 April, 20 and 13
January 1998, and others**
Prison authorities refused to provide an escort for Njawé to allow him to
attend a medical examination on 15 June in an opthamologist's clinic,
thereby preventing him from having further treatment.

Background Information

According to an alert issued by Reporters sans fronitères, Njawé was
sentenced to two years in prison for "spreading false information" in
connection with an article that appeared in the 22 December 1997 issue of
"Le Messager". The article reported that President Paul Biya had suffered a
heart attack while watching a football match. On 14 April 1998, Njawé's
sentence was reduced on appeal to one year in prison. His conviction drew
widespread international condemnation (see IFEX alerts).

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • urgently calling on them to secure the immediate and unconditional release
    of Pius Njawé, who is in detention simply for exercising his right to
    freedom of expression in accordance with numerous international conventions
  • requesting that, in the meantime, Njawé be granted full access to
    specialist medical treatment without delay

    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

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    World Association of Newspapers
    7 Rue Geoffroy St. Hilaire
    75005 Paris
    contact_us (@) wan.asso.fr
    Fax:+33 14 742 4948
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