The Society of African Journalists, SAJ has condemned the ‘illegal’ arrest and detention of Cameroonian Journalist, Mancho Bibixy.
Bibixy was arrested on January 19, 2017 while at a friend’s house, SAJ acting President, Mr. Michael Adeboboye said in a press release.
Local media report that armed soldiers invaded the house through the fence, firing into the air before taking him.
The Human Rights Journalist was reportedly beaten, hooded and whisked away to a detention facility.
He was later charged under the Cameroonian terrorism law No. 28 of 2014 and the Cameroonian Criminal Code.
Without convincing evidence, Bibixy was tried in a military court from February 1, 2017 and sentenced on March 25 , 2018 to 15 years in prison with 208 million CFA francs (408 564 Euro).
“These strong arm tactics of the government, mark is gross violations of Bibixy’s basic human rights, the SAJ President, Adeboboye said.
We condemned the treatment and continued incarceration of Bibixy in no uncertain terms and call on the government of Cameroon to cease the violations and accord Bibixy due regard for his humanity.
We recognise the need for governments to maintain law and order. We however must stress the important role of the Fourth Estate in Africa’s development trajectory and that muzzling press freedom is unfriendly to progress on the continent. It merely perpetuates a Dark Continent narrative which is retrogressive.
The SAJ boss appeale for the intervention of the international community on the matter, as on the humanitarian crisis in Cameroon.
We call upon ECOWAS, the AU and United Nations and indeed the government of Cameroon to release Bibixy and work for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.