Imprisoned poet Enoh Meyomesse publishes second collection of poetry from Kondengui Prison, Yaoundé, ahead of his rescheduled appeal hearing tomorrow
English PEN is delighted to announce that, despite having been denied access to the prison’s computer room since April 2013, imprisoned activist and poet Enoh Meyomesse has now self-published his second volume of poetry, Prison Poetry. The collection is available to read online here (French only).
Last month Enoh Meyomesse’s appeal hearing was postponed for the seventh time since his case was first referred to a civil court for appeal in April 2013. A rescheduled hearing is now due to take place tomorrow, 20 February. These ongoing delays mean that Meyomesse has now been behind bars for more than two years on what are widely believed to be trumped-up charges. As a result of the numerous postponements and additional months in prison, funds to cover his legal fees and daily needs – including food, medicine, family visits, and writing materials – are now dwindling.
To show our support for Meyomesse, English PEN invited our network of supporters to join us in working on a crowd-sourced translation of his first collection of prison poetry Poème Carcéral : Poésie du pénitencier de Kondengui. Throughout 2013, we featured these translations on our website and on 15 November, the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, we published the full e-book collection, Jail Verse: Poems from Kondengui Prison. The anthology is now also available to print-on-demand. As well as amplifying a voice that the Cameroonian government has sought to silence, we will be using the collection to raise funds to support Meyomesse and his family.
We are also continuing to call for Meyomesse’s immediate and unconditional release. Please join us.
There are a number of ways you can show your support for Enoh Meyomesse:
Read and share Meyomesse’s writing
Help us keep Enoh Meyomesse’s case in the public eye by downloading, reading, sharing, tweeting, translating and remixing his work.
- Enoh Meyomesse’s most recent collection Prison Poetry (French only)
- PEN’s translation of his first collection Jail Verse: Poems from Kondengui Prison
Spread the word
If you are active on social media, please share information about Enoh Meyomesse’s case with your friends and contacts using the hashtag #FreeEnoh.
Send a message of support
If you would be interested in writing directly to Enoh Meyomesse, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Send pens and notebooks
Since April 2013, Meyomesse has been denied access to the prison computer room, but continues to write prolifically by hand. He has requested that we send notebooks and pens to enable him to continue to do so. Email email@example.com for further information.
Write to the authorities
Please send appeals:
- Protesting the conviction of writer and activist Enoh Meyomesse on charges of supposed complicity in the theft and illegal sale of gold, and the seven-year prison sentence handed down to him on 27 December 2012;
- Noting that PEN believes the case against him is politically motivated;
- Calling on the Cameroonian authorities to do all they can to ensure that the appeal hearing scheduled for 20 February 2014 goes ahead;
- Urging the authorities to quash the conviction and to release Meyomesse immediately and unconditionally.
His Excellency Mr. Nkwelle Ekaney
Cameroon High Commission
84 Holland Park
Fax: 020 7792 0608
Or you could use the form below. A sample letter is provided but it is always better if you put the appeal in your own words.
[ecampaign ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ subject=”Free Meyomesse”]
I am writing to you as a supporter of English PEN, the founding centre of the international association of writers, to protest the ongoing imprisonment of writer and activist Enoh Meyomesse.
According to PEN’s information, on 27 December 2012 writer Enoh Meyomesse was sentenced to seven years in prison on charges that are widely believed to be politically motivated. He had already been detained for 13 months prior to this conviction, despite all previous charges against him having been dropped in June 2012.
Enoh Meyomesse continues to be held in the over-crowded Kondengui Central Prison in Yaoundé where he has reportedly been held in solitary confinement and subject to torture. There are widespread concerns for his health and well-being.
In April 2013, it was reported that Meyomesse’s lawyers had succeeded in having his case referred to a civil court for appeal. His appeal was expected to be called to the Courts of Appeal for the first time on 20 June, but was postponed until 18 July. A further six hearings have since been postponed, and the appeal is finally expected to take place on 20 February.
I respectfully call on the Cameroonian authorities to do all in their power to ensure that Meyomesse’s appeal hearing goes ahead as scheduled, that the conviction is quashed, and that he is released immediately and unconditionally.
I would welcome your comments on my appeal.