Cameroon: Enoh Meyomesse’s appeal hearing tomorrow

Tomorrow, 18 July, writer and activist Enoh Meyomesse’s appeal against his seven-year prison sentence is due to be heard at a civil court in Cameroon. We believe his detention to be politically motivated and continue to call on the authorities to quash the conviction and to release him immediately and unconditionally. Please join us.

In December 2012, Enoh Meyomesse was 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. He had already spent 13 months in prison before being sentenced. 

Since the moment of Meyomesse’s arrest in November 2011, there has been widespread concern about the charges against him, and also about his treatment in prison. The day after he was arrested, 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. 

On 22 December 2011, Meyomesse was moved to the over-crowded Kondengui Central Prison in Yaoundé. Shortly afterwards, the military court issued him with a warrant that would keep him detained in harsh prison conditions for the next six months as the government conducted its investigation. By June 2012, all charges aginst him had been dropped. Nevertheless, in July 2012 the judge ordered a further six-month extension of his detention so that the prosecutor could ostensibly search for evidence against him. He was convicted and sentenced in December 2012.

Throughout his time in prison Meyomesse continued to write prolifically, and in November 2012 self-published a powerful collection of poetry he had written whilst in detention, Poème carcéral: Poésie du pénitencier de Kondengui (Les Editions de Kamerun, November 2012). However, since 5 April 2013, Meyomesse has reportedly been prevented from writing in prison and has effectively had three of his new works confiscated.

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; however, it was postponed until 18 July.

We believe his detention to be politically motivated and continue to call on the Cameroonian authorities to quash the conviction and to release him immediately and unconditionally. Please join us.

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=”Freedom for 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 continued detention 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 been held in solitary confinement and subject to torture. Since 5 April 2013, Meyomesse has reportedly been prevented from writing in prison and has effectively had three of his new works confiscated. 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; however, it was postponed until 18 July.

I believe that Enoh Meyomesse has been detained in violation of his right to freedom of expression, as guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and respectfully call on the Cameroonian authorities to quash the conviction and to release him immediately and unconditionally.

I would welcome your comments on my appeal.

Yours sincerely,

[/ecampaign]

Twitter

For those of you on Twitter, please help spread the word by using the hashtag ‪#‎FreeEnoh

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. We are posting translations of Meyomesse’s poems on our website regularly, and will be publishing 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 →

One Comment on “Cameroon: Enoh Meyomesse’s appeal hearing tomorrow”

  1. We have just heard from our contacts in Cameroon that Enoh Meyomesse’s appeal hearing has now been postponed until 19 September. Please continue to send messages of support and letters of appeal to the authorities, calling for his immediate and unconditional release. Thank you.

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