Cameroonian writer and blogger Enoh Meyomesse has been held in jail in Yaoundé, Cameroon's capital city, for over 17 months. Accused of stealing and illegally selling gold, he was sentenced to seven years imprisonment by the Military court of Yaoundé, after a process that several organizations considered illegitimate. Many suspect that Meyomesse, who received the Oxfam Novib/PEN Award in 2013 and is now an honorary member of the PEN American Center, faced a political trial aimed at silencing one of the most prolific intellectuals of Cameroon.
Several events reveal the nervousness of the regime regarding the Enoh Meyomesse case. On February 22, 2013 the Committee for the Liberation of Enoh was supposed to take part in a press conference organized by Tribunal Article 53, a Cameroonian NGO, on the situation of the blogger and writer. But the conference was banned [fr] on the grounds that the statement sent to the prefectorial authority was incomplete. In this video, shot on February 22, organizers deny the allegation while public forces expel participants from the conference venue. PEN has created an interactive timeline on the jailing of Enoh Meyomesse.
In addition, since April 5, 2013, Enoh has been forbidden [fr] by the Superintendent from using the computer room of Kondengui prison, where he is incarcerated. Enoh used computers to draft three books: Poems of hope, The elite against the people from 1884 to the present day, and Cameroon: Desert of human rights. In a letter addressed to the prison Superintendent, Enoh Meyomesse expresses his surprise at how he has been treated at Kondengui.
Despite this hostile environment, mobilization continues for the release of Enoh Meyomesse. With substantial assistance from his lawyers, Enoh's appeal against his sentence was received and his case will now move from the military to the civil court.
Advocates around the world have begun to voice support for Meyomesse. A Paris-based collective composed and sang this song, based on one of Enoh Meyomesse's poem Noël en Prison (Christmas In Jail).
Cameroon will have its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the UN Human Rights Council on May 1, 2013. Several international organizations have recommended that the country end the persecution of writers and protect online freedom of expression.
Advocates are petitioning for the release of Enoh Meyomesse. To join the campaign, read, sign, and share the petition by clicking here.