Saturday, 10 November 2018

Government Bows Under Overpowering Pressure and Releases Journalist Mimi Mefor

It was an arrest which many saw it coming as Equinoxe journalist and blogger Mimi Mefor Takambou had been written about threats from different sources on her different social media timelines to her thousands of followers.

The fearless journalist and blogger has been one of the few frontline home journalists with massive online presence and following especially during the Anglophone crisis which help catapulted her to fame and make her a household name.

When news broke out three days ago that the celebrity journalist has been sent to the Douala New Bell prison after hours of interrogation, social media and the traditional media went into an overdrive.

It was the kind of unprecedented unity, propelled with relentless and biting efforts from the entire media world in the country which the government has never experience before and sends shock waves across the entire nation.

Journalists, rights activists and top politicians in the country and even abroad joined their voices to pressure the government many believe has arrested and incarcerated journalists simply for doing her in the past and fear the trend will continue if nothing is urgently done.

Entire pages of all major newspapers like the lone English language daily Newspaper The Guardian Post and others in the country were dedicated to her.

Her television network Equinoxe TV, one of the most watched TV channels in the country dedicated days talking about one of their senior staff while bloggers hijacked the cyber space to put the government under the kind of pressure they have never experienced.

Just a day after her arrest, communication minister and government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakaray fired back; issuing a lengthy press statement which he claims epitomizes the kind of “falsehood” being prorated by the journalists as she was accused of amongst other things cyber criminality and spreading fake news online.
Three days after her arrest in a country where bail is normally reserve only for weekdays, the government finally bows to uncontained internal and external pressure, ordered for her release as she was told to “pack her thing” and leave according to blogger and activists Prince Nfor Handson, a close friend to the journalists who spoke with her immediately after her release.

Mimi’s arrest and subsequent freedom once again puts the government on the spotlight as right activists and international bodies decry the heavy handedness on journalists for doing their job.

But the unity demonstrated by her colleagues and activists will certainly go down in the history books and might set a new precedents to end the crackdown of journalists and activists in a state which prides itself as a democracy where freedom of expression is supposed to be a way of life.
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