Cameroon : journalist Mimi Mefo freed from jail

Cameroonian journalist Mimi Mefo. Photo: RR

NEWSROOM (ADV) – Cameroonian journalist Mimi Mefo has been released from the New Bell central prison in the commercial capital Douala.

The Equinoxe television and radio presenter was set free on Saturday after she was detained for alleged dissemination of fake news, likely to harm public authorities or national cohesion.

Ms Mefo was transferred to the New Bell jail on the orders of a state prosecutor at the Douala military tribunal.

A statement attributed to the Cameroon military spokesperson, Col Didier Badjeck, said President Paul Biya ordered the journalist’s release and a halt to the prosecution “in a gesture of magnanimity”.

The military state prosecutor charged Ms Mefo over a social media report in which she said the Cameroonian soldiers were responsible for the death of an American missionary who was shot in the head amid fighting between armed separatists and soldiers in the crisis-hit Northwest region.

The government said bullets that killed the US Baptist missionary came from a 12-gauge weapon which is used by the secessionist terrorists operating in the English speaking Northwest and Southwest regions.

Ms Mefo is due to appear at the military court in Douala on Monday to answer to her charges.

Individuals and groups, including the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the Cameroon Journalists Trade Union (SNJC) and the Cameroon Association of English Speaking Journalists (CAMASEJ), had condemned the detention and called on authorities to immediately free her and allow her to do her job without fear.

© Bur-csa – A.H / Oumaima Mourtada – African Daily Voice (ADV)