Cameroon: Enoh Meyomesse’s appeal hearing long overdue

Writer and activist Enoh Meyomesse’s appeal against his seven-year prison sentence is scheduled to take place at a civil court in Cameroon on 17 October. Following the postponement of three previous appeal hearings earlier this year, Meyomesse has been required to spend a further four months in prison on what are widely believed to be politically motivated charges. We continue to call on the authorities to quash the conviction and to release him immediately and unconditionally. Please join us.

Since the moment of Meyomesse’s arrest in November 2011, there has been widespread concern about the charges against him and his treatment in prison. Following his arrest, Meyomesse was sent to a prison in Bertoua, the capital of Eastern Region, where he was held in solitary confinement—and complete darkness—for 30 days. Meyomesse was later moved to the over-crowded Kondengui Central Prison in Yaoundé, and issued with a warrant that would keep him detained in harsh prison conditions for the next six months as the government conducted its investigation. In July 2012, a judge ordered a further six-month extension of his detention so that the prosecutor could ostensibly search for evidence against him. In December 2012, he was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison and a fine of 200,000 CFA (£247) for supposed complicity in the theft and illegal sale of gold.

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. Due to a legal technicality, the July hearing also had to be rescheduled, as did one that was due to take place on 19 September. It is now expected to take place on 17 October.

In spite of all this, Meyomesse remains in good spirits and continues to write a lot. He is very happy to receive letters and words of support from PEN members. If you’d be interested in writing to him, please email cat@englishpen.org for more details. Thank you.

TAKE ACTION

Send a letter of appeal

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 to be politically motivated;
  • Calling on the Cameroonian authorities to quash the conviction and to release Meyomesse immediately and unconditionally.

Write to:

His Excellency Mr. Nkwelle Ekaney
Cameroon High Commission
84 Holland Park
London
W11 3SB
Fax: 020 7792 0608
Email: info@cameroonhighcommission.co.uk

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 ‘to=info@cameroonhighcommission.co.uk’ subject=”Calling for the release of Enoh Meyomesse”]

Your Excellency

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. Due to a legal technicality, the July hearing also had to be rescheduled, as did one that was due to take place on 19 September. It is now expected to take place on 17 October.

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.

Yours sincerely,

[/ecampaign]

Social media

If you are active on social media, please share information about Enoh Meyomesse’s case with your friends and contacts. We’d be really grateful if you can use the hashtag ‪#‎FreeEnoh so that we can monitor social media activity more easily.

Send a message of support

If you would be interested in sending a message of support directly to Enoh Meyomesse, please email cat@englishpen.org for further details.

Poetry in Translation

To show our support for Enoh Meyomesse and to help raise and maintain awareness of his case, English PEN is working on a crowd-sourced translation of his poetry collection, from French to English, and plan to publish e-book and print-on-demand collections later this year. If you would like to be notified once the full collection is available, please email cat@englishpen.org.

About Cat Lucas

Cat Lucas is English PEN's Writers at Risk Programme Manager

View all posts by Cat Lucas →

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