Should jailed Cameroonian journalist have submitted to ‘the law?’

Mimi Mefo, a crucial voice in coverage of Cameroon’s Anglophone crisis, is currently being held in jail for allegedly threatening state security in the course of her reporting.

She reported that the recent death of a United States missionary in the restive region was via the bullet of a government soldier. She reported the government’s side dispelling the claim.

She has since the start of the crisis being a source of key information on both sides of separatists and of government. She has severally reported that she was being monitored and trailed by state security apparatus.

Then recently, it emerged that she had been summoned by the authorities in the capital Yaounde. She submitted herself with a ‘gang’ of defense lawyers but is currently behind bars.

She was transferred from the civilian tribunal, put before the military court and subsequently detained. But some people have argued whether she should have turned herself in in the first place.

1 – She would be considered a renegade if she refused to and the authorities will come for her. With the nature of her job, did she even have to remain in the country in the first place?

2 – She wanted to be a heroine of journalism. Now that she is in jail, who does the invaluable job of covering the crisis?

3 – Did she doubt that she’d be held unnecessarily like has been done to others? Look at how the case of Ahmed Abba stretched and add how Mancho Bibixy and others were treated.

4 – The local and global community will come to her aid with a campaign. RFI did use all means at its disposal but how long if not longer was Abba held? Equinoxe TV, it’s sad their reaction this far.

Not to exactly call the government of Cameroon a rogue one but its treatment of journalists and dissidents especially hurling them before military tribunals leaves much to be desired.

Mimi Mefo should have long left Cameroon to pursue her simple job of giving information on a crisis that in the first place need not have happened but for government’s mistreatment of citizens it vowed to protect.

The world must rise beyond the rhetoric and do what is right, free Mimi Mefo and others facing similar trumped-up charges. Put them through a fair civilian trial and let them pay for their sins if need be.

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