UPDATE: Charges against writer Meyomesse reduced; still faces trial before military court (WiPC, 13 April 2012)
(WiPC/IFEX) - 6 February 2012 - The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International is relieved by reports that the coup charges against the writer and political activist Enoh Meyomesse have been dropped, but we remain deeply concerned that he still faces trial before a military tribunal on charges of armed robbery. There have been worrying allegations that the evidence against him is fabricated and PEN is seeking more information regarding these claims.
Enoh Meyomesse, 57, is the author of numerous books and is a founding member of the Cameroon Writers Association. He was arrested on 22 November 2011 and charged, alongside three other men, with 1) attempting to organise a coup 2) possessing a firearm 3) aggravated theft. Meyomesse denies all charges and maintains that he is being held because of views expressed in his writings, and for his political activism.
In late January, it was reported that the charge of organising a coup had been dropped, but that the robbery charge was still in place. Meyomesse is currently in the over-crowded Kondengui Central Prison in Yaoundé, where he will be held for at least six months while the government conducts its investigation.
There are reports that the prosecution has fabricated evidence, and that Meyomesse has been denied proper access to legal representation, but, due to a lack of further information, PEN International is unable to take a position on the charges against him at this time. However, we are extremely concerned by the Cameroonian authorities' unwillingness to allow Meyomesse fair conditions in which to mount a proper defence in an open court.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS:
• Calling for Meyomesse to receive a fair and open trial in a civilian court;
• Expressing serious concern that Meyomesse has been denied proper access to a lawyer, and that his lawyer has been denied access to the full facts of the charges against his client, breaching Cameroon's obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
President Paul Biya
Fax: +237 22 22 08 70
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]
Messages may also be sent via the Presidency's website: http://www.prc.cm/index_fr.php?link=messenger/write_pr
Hon. Minister of Justice Laurent Esso
Ministry of Justice
Fax: +237 22 23 00 05
Mr. Philemon Yang, Prime Minister
Fax: +237 22 23 57 35
Email: [email protected]
Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for Cameroon in your country if possible.
Details of some Cameroonian embassies can be seen here: http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/cameroon
***Please send appeals immediately. Check with PEN International if sending appeals after 24 March 2012***