Sunday, 17 December 2017

#FreeNganang: Cameroonian Writer Patrice Nganang Detained in a Maximum Security Prison in Yaoundé

The writer Patrice Nganang was detained on Wednesday 6 December in Douala, Cameroon for publishing an online report about a visit he made to his home country. His report highlighted the tense situation in a region accused by President Biya of Cameroon of being a base for terrorist groups.

The crisis in the Anglophone region began at the end of 2016 when its representatives complained of the under-representation of their regions in the principal institutionsof the country such as schools and government departments. Twenty percent of Cameroon's population is Anglophone (English-speaking) while the rest are mainly French-speaking.

The crisis has become entrenched with Anglophone lawyers and teachers striking over demands for more respect for the English language as the nation's official language used in all government documents. In October 2017, protests led to violent breakouts causing the death of at least seventeen people.
#FreeNganang: Cameroonian Writer Patrice Nganang Detained in a Maximum Security Prison in Yaoundé
Patrice Nganang is well known for his trenchant positions on numerous subjects of Cameroonian and African society. For example, his book ‘Contre Biya’ (‘Against Biya’), encourages young Cameroonians to “demonstrate their citizenship:” Nganang writes:

We don't need to teach courage to the young. They already have it. I see so many people go to prison for their ideas. To accept tyranny is to abdicate.

Nganang has also questioned development matters in other African nations, including the decision of civil society activists such as Aminata Traoré (Mali) to come out in favor of pro-coup elements among the soldiers.

Patrice Nganang was detained at Douala airport in Cameroon just as he was about to embark for Harare, capital of Zimbabwe. He faces charges of threats against the president of the republic, illegal immigration, and fraud.

Solidarity with the writer-activist is being organized via social media. A petition demanding his immediate release has been published by a collective of writers and has already been signed by 6,992 users as of 15 December. A crowdsourcing platformhas also been set up to help his friends meet lawyers’ fees.

The following Al Jazeera video published on 13 December 2017 summarizes the facts leading up to the writer's arrest:

The petition from a group of mostly African writers describes Patrice Nganang's impact and personality ... #FreeNganang: Cameroonian Writer Patrice Nganang Detained in a Maximum Security Prison in Yaoundé. Copyright © Africa 24 News. All rights reserved. Distributed by Africa Metro Global Media (www.africametros.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, Click Here.

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